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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Claudine Woolf became a Mary Kay Cosmetics consultant in 1995 and eventually became a sales director in 1996. A director sells Mary Kay products and is also responsible for “inspiring, motivating, counseling and aiding” new recruits who make up her sales unit. In return, the director receives commissions based on the purchases made by members of her unit. Woolf signed a “Sales Director Agreement,” which stated that it was governed by Texas law. The agreement stated that Woolf would be an independent contractor for Mary Kay. In 1997, Woolf became pregnant. The same month, she was also diagnosed with cancer. She filed a lawsuit against Mark Kay under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, alleging that Mary Kay did not accommodate her disability. Though Mary Kay argued that Woolf was not an employee, and that the statute did not apply, a jury ruled for Woolf. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The court first concludes that Texas law should have been applied. The agreement under which the parties operated chose Texas law, and that choice should be given effect so long as the contract bears a substantial relationship to the chosen state, and so long as the parties’ choice does not thwart a fundamental policy of the state whose law would otherwise be applied. There is an undisputed substantial relationship between these parties and Texas. But even assuming, without deciding, 1. that California law had a more significant relationship to these parties than Texas law; and 2. that California had a materially greater interest than Texas in deciding whether Woolf was an employee or an independent contractor, the court would still need to determine whether application of Texas law to the employment-status decision would violate a “fundamental policy” of California. Woolf has identified no such policy. Consequently, Texas law, as specified in the agreement, should be applied. Under Limestone Prods. Distribution, Inc. v. McNamara, 71 S.W.3d 308 (Tex. 2002), the Texas Supreme Court identified five factors that help measure the right of an employer to control another’s work, thus determining whether that person is an employee or an independent contractor: 1. the independent nature of the worker’s business; 2. the worker’s obligation to furnish necessary tools, supplies, and materials to perform the job; 3. the worker’s right to control the progress of the work except about final results; 4. the time for which the worker is employed; and 5. the method of payment, whether by unit of time or by the job. Other witnesses � and even Woolf herself at times � testified to working conditions that indicated she worked independently, including renting her own office space, buying her own business cards, not receiving any employee benefits from Mary Kay, etc. Though Woolf said she felt “controlled” by Mary Kay, such testimony is not evidence of Mary Kay’s right to control the details of Woolf’s work. The court also finds that the agreement makes clear that the provision governing the termination of the relationship between Mary Kay and Woolf is simply the parties’ agreement concerning how their contractual relationship can be brought to an end. There can be no breach of contract when the manner of termination of the relationship is the manner contemplated by the contract’s own terms. OPINION:FitzGerald, J.; Morris, Moseley and FitzGerald, JJ.

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