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The doctrine of respondeat superior in Latin literally means "Let the master respond." This is a legal term for when a principal is held liable for the wrongful acts committed by their agents while acting within the course and scope of their agency. This also applies to employers and their employees acting within the scope of their employment.

This basically imposes vicarious (indirect) liability on the employer without regard to the personal fault of the employer for torts committed by an employee.

The scope of employment is the key to determining whether the employer may be liable under respondeat superior. The factors to determine the scope of employment are as follows:
  1. Whether the act was authorized by the employer.
  2. The time, place, and purpose of the act. This is to see if the act was committed during the regular working hours and location of regular employment.
  3. Whether the act was one commonly performed by employees on behalf of their employers.
  4. The extent to which the employer's interest was advanced by the act. If the act benefited the employer, then the employer is responsible for the employee's act.
  5. The extent to which the private interests of the employee were involved.
  6. Whether the employer provided the means necessary to perform the act.
  7. Whether the employer had reason to know that the employee would do the act in question and whether the employee had done this act previously.
  8. Whether the act involved the commission of a serious crime.

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