MESC v Worth – 4.24

MESC v Worth
Digest no. 4.24

Section 44(5)

Cite as: MESC v Worth, unpublished opinion of the Oceana Circuit Court, issued February 13, 1995 (Docket No. 94-004703-AE); lv den, Mich App, July 7, 1995 (No. 184836); lv den, Mich, April 29, 1996 (No. 103801).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Jane Worth
Employer: Michigan Department of State
Docket no.: B92-27803-124350W
Date of decision: February 13, 1995

View/download the full decision

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Payments made from insurance, annuities or a fund for disability coverage are not remuneration or considered wages under the Michigan Employment Security Act. However, “sick pay” is remuneration and constitutes wages under the Michigan Employment Security Act and as such must be considered when computing benefit rates.

FACTS: The claimant worked for the employer from December 1976 until November 1991. She was laid off for lack of work. The employer did not include in its wage calculations submitted to the MESC the amounts paid the claimant in the form of sick pay. The employer’s computation of the claimant’s average weekly wage was $413.70 which would entitle the claimant to $224.00 a week in benefits. The claimant computed her average weekly wage as $445.47 which would entitle her to $240.00 a week in benefits. The claimant used her gross wages without deducting any amounts received in the form of sick payments. At issue was the $16.00 per week difference in benefits.

DECISION: “Sick pay” is wages and therefore, claimant’s average weekly wage was $445.47 which entitled the claimant to $240.00 a week in benefits

RATIONALE: Payments made from insurance, annuities or on account of accidents are not wages any more than an accident, retirement or death benefit would be considered a wage. Similarly, sickness disability payments are either insurance benefits payments or a form thereof and are not wage payments. However sick pay amounts to a decision of an employer to pay the day wages to an employee when the employee is ill. The sick payments are remuneration and wages under the Michigan Employment Security Act.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
7/99