Dana v American Youth Foundation – 17.20

Dana v American Youth Foundation
Digest no. 17.20

Section 43(u)

Cite as: Dana v American Youth Foundation, 257 Mich App 208 (2003).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Candice Dana
Employer: American Youth Foundation
Docket no.: B97-00302-RO1-147335W
Date of decision: June 24, 2003

View/download the full decision

COURT OF APPEALS DECISION: Service in an Americorps program is not exempt from coverage under Section 43(o)(v). (See statutory amendment described below.)

FACTS: Claimant served in the AmeriCorps program in a program administered by employer. Claimant received a monthly stipend, health insurance, childcare allowance, and an educational award. When she completed her term of service, claimant applied for unemployment benefits.

RATIONALE: The Michigan Court of Appeals held the claimant’s services to be covered employment under Section 43(o)(v). Under Section 43(o)(v) work-relief and work-training programs are exempt from coverage. The Court held that service in the AmeriCorps program was not a work-relief or work-training program and is not exempt from coverage under Section 43(o)(v).

However, AmeriCorps Service is exempt under Section 43 if the service ended on or after July 23, 2004, the effective date of Act 243 Public Acts 2004. The amendment added a new subsection to Section 43-Section 43(u) which provides:

Except as otherwise provided in section 42(6), the term “employment” does not include any of the following:

(u) Service performed in an Americorps program but only if both of the following conditions are met:

(i) The individual performed the service under a contract or agreement providing for a guaranteed stipend opportunity.

(ii) The individual received the full amount of the guaranteed stipend before the ending date of the contract or agreement.

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

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Cite as: Canto v McLaren Regional Medical Center, unpublished opinion of the St Clair Circuit Court, issued July 23, 2002 (Docket No. 01-00382-AE).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

View/download the full decision

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:

Detroit Medical Center Corp v Yff – 17.13

Detroit Medical Center Corp v Yff
Digest no. 17.13

Sections 42, 43(o)

Cite as: Detroit Medical Center Corp v Yff, Emmet Circuit Court, No. 97-4502-AE (June 18, 1998); lv den Mich App No. 213896 (December 30, 1998).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Michael Yff
Employer: Detroit Medical Center Corporation
Docket no.: L97-00001-2658
Date of decision: June 18, 1998

View/download the full decision

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Even though the primary function of the medical residency was to provide additional training, the claimant functioned as an employee. Furthermore, his services were not statutorily excluded.

FACTS: Claimant filed for unemployment benefits after completing his medical residency. He had worked for employer pursuant to a written contract for his services in exchange for compensation of $30,000+ per year with benefits. He was required by his contract to provide medical services to clients of employer at its facility.

DECISION: Claimant’s services are in covered employment under Section 42 and are not excluded under Section 43(o).

RATIONALE: Section 43(o)(5) does not apply to the claimant, claimant was not involved in an unemployment work-relief or work-training program financed by a governmental entity. Claimant worked under the express direction and control of the employer. Services provided by claimant fit the definition of employment in all pertinent respects.

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

Maguire v Charter Township of Shelby – 17.17

Maguire v Charter Township of Shelby
Digest no. 17.17

Sections 42, 43(o)(iii)(E)

Cite as: Maguire v Charter Twp of Shelby, unpublished opinion of the Macomb Circuit Court, issued February 28, 1996 (Docket No. 95-1828-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimants: Joseph Maguire, Frances Gillett, Kirby Holmes
Employer: Charter Township of Shelby
Docket no.: L91-11605-2320
Date of decision: February 28, 1996

View/download the full decision

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimants resigned from non-tenured policymaking/advisory positions to which they were elected and were then hired or appointed to tenured, non-policymaking, non-advisory positions, their services were not excluded even if they essentially continued the same type of work as before.

FACTS: Claimants were elected to positions as township clerk, supervisor and treasurer in November 1988. They all resigned in June 1989, and were appointed to subordinate positions within the township. They were all removed following the November 7, 1990, election. Employer argues the claimants should be denied benefits because of the Section 43(o)(iii)(E) exclusion of high level policymakers in that they were performing policymaking functions even after they left office for their appointed positions and could no longer vote at trustee meetings.

DECISION: The claimants’ employment was not statutorily excluded under Section 43(o)(iii)(E).

RATIONALE: Claimants no longer had ultimate policymaking authority after June 1989, even though they may have rendered great assistance to the policymakers who replaced them.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: Unknown

Apple Crest Farms v Gardner – 17.18

Apple Crest Farms v Gardner
Digest no. 17.18

Section 43(d)

Cite as: Apple Crest Farms v Gardner, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued June 4, 1990 (Docket No. 90-002881-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Timothy Gardner
Employer: Apple Crest Farms
Docket no.: B87-16551-109686
Date of decision: June 4, 1990

View/download the full decision

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: The services the claimant performed (cutting the grass and cleaning the grounds of a plot of land where no active farming had taken place for several years) were not agricultural labor and therefore, not excluded “employment.”

FACTS: The employer consists of a 300 acre parcel of land with fruit trees, three houses and surrounding grounds. Seven years prior to the period in question, the orchard produced over 100,000 bushels of apples, peaches and pears annually. The production of fruit was discontinued. The claimant worked for the employer maintaining the grounds, weed cutting, grass cutting, clearing out trees and throwing out dead wood. At the time claimant became unemployed there was no active production of agricultural products on the farm and it was unknown if the orchard would ever resume production.

DECISION: The claimant was performing services in employment under the Michigan Employment Security Act and was eligible to receive benefits.

RATIONALE: The claimant maintained the grounds and trees. He performed work of cutting the grass and cleaning an estate-like plot of land. There is not, nor has there been for the past several years, any farming activity on the land. This was not “agricultural labor.”

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

Ballenger v Michigan Department of Agriculture – 17.12

Ballenger v Michigan Department of Agriculture
Digest no. 17.12

Section 43(o)

Cite as: Ballenger v Michigan Dep’t of Agriculture, unpublished opinion of the Ingham Circuit Court, issued August 10, 1989 (Docket No. 87-60066-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: William Ballenger
Employer: Michigan Department of Agriculture
Docket no.: B85-13688-RO1-103090W
Date of decision: August 10, 1989

View/download the full decision

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Claimant’s employment as the State Racing Commissioner was a major non-tenured policymaking or advisory position and therefore excluded employment under Section 43(o)(iii)(E) of the Michigan Employment Security Act.

FACTS: The claimant was appointed by Governor Milliken to be the Racing Commissioner. He worked in that position from September 1982 until August 1985 when Governor Blanchard appointed a successor. He filed a claim for unemployment benefits.

DECISION: The services the claimant performed were excluded from consideration as employment under the Michigan Employment Security Act. The claimant was ineligible for benefits.

RATIONALE: The claimant was appointed to the position of Racing Commissioner by the Governor. A position is “major” if filled by gubernatorial appointment. The position was not covered by the Civil Service system and as such was non-tenured. The claimant admitted the position was policymaking or advisory. The policymaking/advisory nature of the position was confirmed by the position description submitted by the claimant. Thus the position was a major, non-tenured, policymaking or advisory position and was properly excluded from consideration as covered employment.

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

General Motors Corp v Walworth – 17.16

General Motors Corp v Walworth
Digest no. 17.16

Sections 43(m), 43(q)(ii)

Cite as: General Motors Corp v Walworth, unpublished opinion of the Genesee Circuit Court, issued November 22, 1988 (Docket No. 88-000970-AV).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Renee Walworth
Employer: General Motors Corporation
Docket no.: B87-06444-105587
Date of decision: November 22, 1988

View/download the full decision

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Services performed by the claimant through a co-op program were excluded from covered employment under the Michigan Employment Security Act.

FACTS: The claimant was an accounting student at the University of Michigan, Flint. In September of 1985 the claimant, through the school’s co-op program, applied and was hired for a position in a General Motors Corp. accounting and financial department at the Flint Truck and Bus Assembly Plant. In the Spring of 1986 the claimant enrolled in a class at school entitled “Management Cooperative Experience” for which she received three credits. Later the claimant was laid off and applied for unemployment benefits. The school’s director of co-op programs wrote a letter to verify the claimant was considered a co-op student and was placed in a co-op position at General Motors Corp while she was enrolled in business administration and accounting course work.

DECISION: The claimant was ineligible for benefits under Section 43(m) and 43(q)(ii) of the Michigan Employment Security Act.

RATIONALE: Claimant would not have gotten the job if she was not designated a co-op student. She received three credits for a class because of these work experiences. She did not need to receive co-op credit for her entire work experience to be excluded under the Act. Rather, she needed only to be involved in a full-time program at the school. Further, although the school’s letter used the term “verify,” it satisfied the “certification” requirement contained in Section 43(m).

The Referee also observed the class claimant took appears to fit exactly into Section 43(q)(ii)  of the Michigan Employment Security Act.

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

Berlin v Northwestern National Life Insurance Co – 17.04

Berlin v Northwestern National Life Insurance Co
Digest no. 17.04

Section 43(h)

Cite as: Berlin v Northwestern Nat’l Life Ins Co, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued February 26, 1986 (Docket No. 77624).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Steven Berlin
Employer: Northwestern National Life Insurance Company
Docket no.: B81 14302 80900
Date of decision: February 26, 1986

View/download the full decision

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Claimant was not an independent contractor under the “economic reality” test enunciated in Powell v ESC, 345 Mich 455 (1956).

FACTS: Claimant worked full-time for employer as an insurance agent and was paid $1600/mo. Social Security tax was withheld. Commissions generated by claimant amounted to $351.23, while he received total compensation in excess of $8000. Claimant worked exclusively for employer and reported to supervisors daily. He was provided with an office, secretarial help, computer, supplies, and training.

DECISION: Claimant was not in excluded employment under the MES Act.

RATIONALE: Employer provided extensive services and training. Claimant represented himself solely as employer’s agent and employer exercised a significant amount of control over claimant’s day-to-day activities. Claimant’s work was an integral part of employer’s business. Claimant was an employee under the “economic reality” test. The court distinguished this case from Farrell v Auto Club of America, 148 Mich App 165 (1986). “Here, claimant was apparently being paid by respondent at a steady rate during the development or probationary period. His income does not appear to have fluctuated according to the number of units he was able to sell.”

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

Farrell v Automobile Club of Michigan – 17.05

Farrell v Automobile Club of Michigan
Digest no. 17.05

Section 43(h)

Cite as: Farrell v Auto Club of Michigan, 148 Mich App 165 (1986).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Bruce Farrell
Employer: Auto Club of Michigan
Docket no.: B82 14055 89503W
Date of decision: January 6, 1986

View/download the full decision

COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: If the compensation depends upon Claimant’s efforts and a sale being brought to a conclusion, the compensation is a commission.

FACTS: Claimant, as an insurance salesman for the employer, received compensation for selling insurance policies on a sliding scale, whereby fixed dollar amounts were assigned to various “units” of a policy. Ninety percent of Claimant’s income was calculated on a fixed fee computation, instead of a percentage of the total amount of the policy sold.

DECISION: Claimant is excluded from covered employment.

RATIONALE: The court cited Smith v Starke, 196 Mich 311 (1917): “The word ‘commission’ implies a compensation to a factor or agent for services rendered in making a sale.”

The court went on to cite American National Insurance Co v Keitel, 186 SW2d 447, “(the word ‘commission, when used to denote compensation for work performed, as is ordinarily understood, means compensation paid upon results achieved’).” [T]he distinguishing feature of a commission is that payment of a commission is contingent upon the successful completion of sale transactions.”

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

Socher v Allegan General Hospital – 17.01

Socher v Allegan General Hospital
Digest no. 17.01

Section 42

Cite as: Socher v Allegan Gen Hosp, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued December 29, 1983 (Docket No. B81 07346 80683); lv den 422 Mich 882 (1985).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Robert Socher
Employer: Allegan General Hospital
Docket no.: B81 07346 80683
Date of decision: December 29, 1983

View/download the full decision

SUPREME COURT HOLDING: In lieu of granting leave to appeal the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and trial court and reinstated the Board of Review decision because that decision was supported by competent, material and substantial evidence. The Board found the proper test to be applied is the “economic reality” test.

FACTS: Claimant, an emergency room physician, had an oral contract with the employer. Compensation was $25 per hour or 85% of the patient billings attributed to the claimant, whichever was greater. Taxes were not withheld, nor did he receive fringe benefits. The equipment, medication and instruments were provided by the hospital.

DECISION: The services involved were employment as defined by Section 42 of the MES Act

RATIONALE: The “economic reality” test looks to the totality of the circumstances surrounding the work performed and focuses on the relationship of the worker and his work to the employer’s business operation. See McKissic v Bodine, 42 Mich App 203 (1972). The claimant was not subject to any control as to the manner in which he performed his professional services for any given patient but could assess fees therefor only within the limits prescribed by the hospital and who was obligated to report for work and continue working at such times and throughout such periods as directed by the hospital. He could not hire or fire anyone who assisted him but instead had to accept those provided by the hospital and, at least understood, that he could not perform professional services elsewhere. The claimant’s services were a part of a larger common task, i e., the provision of hospital care to those in need. He was not an independent contractor.

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