Bureau of Worker’s and Unemployment Compensation v Detroit Medical Center – 17.21

Bureau of Worker’s and Unemployment Compensation v Detroit Medical Center
Digest no. 17.21

Section 421.43(o)(v) & (q)(ii)

Cite as: Bureau of Unemployment Compensation v Detroit Medical Ctr, 267 Mich App 500 (2005).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Marquetta Jones
Employer: Detroit Medical Center
Docket No.: 252777
Date of decision: July 26, 2005

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HOLDING: Claimant’s medical residency was not excluded from the Act’s coverage as (1) a work training program because the residency had no purpose to alleviate unemployment, poverty, or welfare dependence; nor (2) student employment because the employer was an non-profit organization.

FACTS: Claimant was a former medical resident (still registered as a full-time student during residency). After the UIA determined that medical residency was employment covered by the Act, an ALJ reversed. The board and circuit court affirmed. On appeal, the parties stipulated that the claimant was subject to the employer’s control and received remuneration.

DECISION: It was clear error for the ALJ, Board and circuit court to exclude the claimant’s employment as a medical resident from coverage under Section 421.43(o)(v) & (q)(ii).

Claimant’s medical residency was not excluded from the Act’s coverage as (1) a work training program because the residency had no purpose to alleviate unemployment, poverty, or welfare dependence; nor (2) student employment because the employer was an non-profit organization.

RATIONALE: Relying on Dana v American Youth Foundation, 257 Mich App 208; 668 NW2d 174 (2003), the court explained that interpretation of the work-relief and work-training exclusions in the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, 26 U.S.C. § 3301 et seq. are highly persuasive authority in resolving the similar exclusion in MCL § 421.43(o)(v). Dana followed U.S. Department of Labor guidance to interpret the exclusion, and held that in order to qualify as an exclusion from employment, a work-relief or work-training program must satisfy all mandatory requirements of the Department of Labor guidance (including that the products or services must be secondary to providing financial assistance, training, or work-experience to individuals to relieve them or unemployment or poverty). The court decided that the medical residency’s product or service was secondary to the purpose of training future doctors, but that there was no purpose of relieving the residents of unemployment, or poverty, or welfare dependence. Therefore, the medical residency could not be an excluded work-training program and it was clear error to hold otherwise.

It was also clear error to exclude Claimant’s medical residency as student employment under MCL § 421.43(q)(ii) because it was undisputed that the employer was a non-profit organization (which are excepted from the student employment exclusion).

Digest author: Austin L. Webbert, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest updated: October 24, 2017

 

Canto v McLaren Regional Medical Center – 17.19

Canto v McLaren Regional Medical Center
Digest no. 17.19

Section 43

Cite as: Canto v McLaren Regional Medical Center, unpublished opinion of the St Clair Circuit Court, issued July 23, 2002 (Docket No. 01-00382-AE).

Appeal pending: No*
Claimant: Emmanuel Canto
Employer: McLaren Regional Medical Center
Docket no.: L1999-00047-2736
Date of decision: July 23, 2002

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Participation in an accredited medical residency program is excluded from the MES Act definition of “employment” pursuant to Sections 43(o)(5) and 43(q)(2).

FACTS: Claimant is a doctor who completed employer’s 3-year family practice residency program. The residency program includes didactic work, classroom work, lectures and supervised clinical experience. The residency program was created to develop resident’s clinical skills and train physicians. Residents cannot bill for patient care; Medicare/Medicaid compensates the hospital separately. Residents’ stipends are reimbursed by federal sources. There was no relation between the number of hours worked and the amount claimant was paid. There is no expectation of employment after completion of the residency.

DECISION: The services claimant rendered are exempt from coverage under Sections 43(o)(5) and 43(q)(2).

RATIONALE: Section 43(o)(5) excludes from employment those individuals who are participants in a work-training program that is assisted or financed in whole or in part by a federal agency. Residency programs are “work-training” programs as they impart clinical skills to physicians, which allow them to properly perform their work. These programs are federally funded. Section 43(q)(2) excludes from the definition of employment, “services performed by a college student of any age, but only when the student’s employment is a formal and accredited part of the regular curriculum of the school.” In this matter, claimant was involved in a program that was part of an accredited program of instruction.

*Note an appeal in another case involving this same issue is currently pending at the Michigan Court of Appeals: Bureau of Worker’s Unemployment Compensation v Detroit Medical Center, Mich App Case No. 252777-D

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
11/04