Motycka v General Motors Corp – 4.32

Motycka v General Motors Corp
Digest no. 4.32

Section 48

Cite as: Motycka v General Motors Corp, 257 Mich App 578 (2003).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Marvin Motycka, et al.
Employer: General Motors Corporation
Docket no.: MUL1999-78153-RM1-155516W
Date of decision: July 17, 2003

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The phrase “leave of absence” as used in Section 48(3) denotes an authorized temporary release from work.

FACTS: Claimants were on a ‘pre-retirement leave’ for a two-year period as articulated in their collective bargaining agreement due to their plant closing. During the ‘pre-retirement leave,’ the claimants received 85% of their wages, retained health benefits, and accrued service credit towards retirement. At the conclusion of the two-year period, the claimants were required to retire.

DECISION: The claimants were not on a leave absence and were “unemployed.”

RATIONALE: “In American Telephone Co v ESC, 376 Mich 271, 279 (1965), our Supreme Court held that the normally accepted meaning of leave of absence was a temporary authorized release from work. GM suggests that American Telephone, supra, is distinguishable from the instant case because it construes a former section of the MES Act dealing with pregnancy leaves that has since been rescinded. However, GM fails to recognize that the Supreme Court reaffirmed the concept that a leave of absence is a temporary release from work in ESC v Vulcan Forging Co, 375 Mich 374, 379 (1965).” Motycka, at 583. The Court in Vulcan,supra, further held that a “leave of absence” is an “authorized temporary release from work for other an vacation purposes.”Motycka, at 583 quoting Vulcan, supra at 379.

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

Fletcher v Atrex Corp – 4.29

Fletcher v Atrex Corp
Digest no. 4.29

Sections 48, 44

Cite as: Fletcher v Atrex Corp, unpublished opinion of the Macomb Circuit Court, issued October 22, 1997 (Docket No. 96-7137-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimants: Clare Fletcher
Employer: Color Custom Compounding, Inc., d/b/a Atrex Corporation
Docket no.: FSC 95-00061-136470W
Date of decision: October 22, 1997

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant spent her time performing services, though not paid for those services until after the fact, she was nonetheless employed and received remuneration.

FACTS: Claimant had a benefit year in effect in May 1992 when she began performing services for Universal Plastics. At that time, that employer was unable to offer her a paying job. Nonetheless, claimant continued to perform services until she was officially hired there August 1, 1992, at which time she informed the Agency that she was employed. After claimant was hired she was compensated retroactively for the services she performed between May and August 1992. When the Agency became aware of this a determination was issued holding claimant ineligible for the May – August period under Section 48.

DECISION: Claimant is ineligible for benefits for the period May 3, 1992, through July 11, 1992, under Section 48.

RATIONALE: Remuneration is compensation for personal services and is not limited by the statute as to when it is paid – it may be paid after the service is rendered and not in the form of an hourly or weekly rate. The substantial amounts claimant received in addition to her regular wages after she was hired were, in fact, remuneration for services rendered during the period in question.

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

Koehler v General Motors Corp – 7.29

Koehler v General Motors Corp
Digest no. 7.29

Sections 28(1)(c), 48

Cite as: Koehler v General Motors Corp, unpublished opinion of the Oakland Circuit Court, issued May 6, 1997 (Docker No. 96-532329-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Carl Koehler
Employer: General Motors Corporation
Docket no.: B94-10946-134361W and FSC94-00569-134392W
Date of decision: May 6, 1997

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where a claimant worked full-time for a self-owned business he was not unemployed within the meaning of Section 48 of the MES Act. Moreover, where a claimant is preoccupied with developing his own business, putting in hours equivalent to full-time work, he is not available within the meaning of Section 28(1)(c).

FACTS: The claimant was a part-owner of an irrigation company. While collecting unemployment benefits, the claimant worked for his company in excess of 40 hours per week and received distributions from profits. During this period the claimant sought other work but his efforts were infrequent and indifferent. Claimant did not receive a paycheck from this company but did pay personal expenses out of the business’ account.

DECISION: The claimant was not unemployed within the meaning of Section 48 and was not available within the meaning of Section 28(1)(c). Claimant was properly subject to the penalties for fraud.

RATIONALE: Where the claimant is not ready, willing, able and anxious to resume work in industry, his efforts should be considered startup as opposed to self-help. With respect to availability, the claimant’s indifferent job search efforts established he was not truly attached to the labor market and therefore not available within the meaning of Section 28(1)(c). Claimant’s testimony was inconsistent and self-serving and therefore unreliable. In light of his representations to the Agency that he was not employed and his failure to disclose his connection to or responsibilities with his business, the assessment of penalties and sanctions was correct.

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

Rice v International Health Care Management, Inc – 4.28

Rice v International Health Care Management, Inc
Digest no. 4.28

Section 48

Cite as: Rice v Int’l Health Care Mgt, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Monroe Circuit Court, issued December 30, 1996 (Docket No. 95-3309-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Gail Rice
Employer: International Health Care Management, Inc.
Docket no.: B93-06823-R01-128754W
Date of decision: December 30, 1996

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant was given choice between a leave of absence and termination after she notified employer of her pregnancy, she did not voluntarily request the leave of absence and was, therefore, unemployed and eligible for benefits under Section 48.

FACTS: Claimant worked for employer as housekeeper, nurse aide, laundress beginning in 1986. Claimant notified employer that she was pregnant and had some medical restrictions. Claimant requested work within her restrictions or light duty work. Employer refused and offered claimant a “voluntary” leave of absence as alternative to termination. Claimant testified her leave was not voluntary, i.e. was not requested by her.

DECISION: Claimant is not ineligible for benefits under Section 48(3).

RATIONALE: Neither the Agency, the Referee, nor the Board of Review addressed the issue of voluntariness. Claimant’s unrebutted sworn testimony was that she accepted a so-called voluntary leave of absence to avoid termination. The record does not support the conclusion that the claimant voluntarily requested a leave of absence. Therefore, the conclusion that she was ineligible for benefits under Section 48(3) was erroneous as a matter of law.

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

Kenkel v Tremec Trading Co – 4.30

Kenkel v Tremec Trading Co
Digest no. 4.30

Section 48

Cite as: Kenkel v Tremec Trading Co, unissued opinion of the Oakland County Circuit Court, issued January 30, 1995 (Docket No. 94-476557).

Appeal pending: No
Claimants: Matthew Kenkel
Employer: Tremec Trading Co.
Docket no.: B93-05246-126675W
Date of decision: January 30, 1995

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Self-employment does not, per se, disqualify an individual from receiving benefits so long as they receive no remuneration and remain genuinely attached to the labor market.

FACTS: Claimant’s job with employer was eliminated in April 1992. At that time, Claimant purchased 50 percent interest in a real estate franchise. Claimant was not involved in day to day running of business, but did assist with long term planning. He received no compensation for services provided. He testified that he was at all times available for and seeking work. Any time he spent at the business was to increase the equity of his holding.

DECISION: Claimant was unemployed within the meaning of Section 48.

RATIONALE: Claimant’s situation was compared and contrasted with that of claimants in Phillips v UCC, 323 Mich 188 (1948) and Bolles v ESC, 361 Mich 378 (1960). Found to be similar to facts of Bolles which enunciated test of whether or not claimant remained genuinely attached to the labor market despite his self-employment. Distinguish from Phillips, because claimant had not returned to a profession in which he had previously worked and he earned no remuneration. Citing Bolles, the court noted the intent of the Act is to foster industry and self-help, not idleness and inactivity.

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

Mikolaicziak v MESC – 7.07

Mikolaicziak v MESC
Digest no. 7.07

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Mikolaicziak v MESC, 40 Mich App 61 (1972).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Leo J. Mikolaicziak, et al.
Employer: Twin Oaks Golf Club, Inc.
Docket no.: B69 573 37067
Date of decision: April 25, 1972

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: (1) Unpaid service as a corporate officer is not employment. (2) A claimant need not be available for permanent work. (3) Weekly compensation for seasonal work is not an annual salary.

FACTS: Three claimants served as unpaid corporate officers of a golf course. Each owned one-third of the shares of the corporation. All performed manual labor and managerial duties, on a rotating basis, during the ten months of annual operation and maintenance. They were paid weekly for their work during the operating season. The claimants received no compensation in the two remaining months, but were available for temporary work then.

DECISION: The claimants are unemployed and available for work.

RATIONALE: “Since the claimants received absolutely no remuneration or compensation for serving as the corporate officers of the Twin Oaks Golf Club, they were not ’employed’ in such capacities within the meaning of Section 42(1) of the Michigan Employment Security Act. See Great Lakes Steel Corporation v Employment Security Commission, 381 Mich 249 (1968).”

“(R)emuneration was paid to them on a ‘weekly’ basis during the months that the golf course was open to the public.” The Act “. . . does not require an unemployed person to be available for and seek ‘permanent’ full-time work, but rather full-time work.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
11/90

MESC v Vulcan Forging Co – 4.22

MESC v Vulcan Forging Co
Digest no. 4.22

Section 48

Cite as: MESC v Vulcan Forging Co, 375 Mich 374 (1965).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Henry Czarnata
Employer: Vulcan Forging Company
Docket no.: B58 2338 21038
Date of decision: May 10, 1965

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: Claimants who were on unpaid vacation pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement were unemployed according to the Act for those weeks with respect to which they performed no services and received no remuneration.

FACTS: The plant where claimants worked was shut for vacation in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement but the instant claimants received no vacation pay because they had insufficient senority.

DECISION: The claimants were unemployed for purposes of the Act.

RATIONALE: The court expressly overruled IM Dach Underwear Co v ESC, 347 Mich 465 (1956). The court concluded that claimants’ unpaid vacation status was not equivalent to a “leave of absence” because a leave of absence “signifies an authorized temporary absence from work for other than vacation purposes.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
12/91

Phillips v UCC – 4.04

Phillips v UCC
Digest no. 4.04

Section 48

Cite as: Phillips v UCC, 323 Mich 188 (1948).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Pleasant I. Phillips
Employer: Winters and Crampton Corporation
Docket no.: B7 15029 8250
Date of decision: December 17, 1948

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: (1) The claimant has the burden of proof as to eligibility. (2) An attorney who practices law 8 to 12 hours per day is not unemployed. (3) Compensation earned, not compensation received, is the test of remuneration.

FACTS: The claimant, an attorney, began practicing law in 1900.He performed factory work ” … from August 12, 1944, until October 6, 1947, when he was laid off due to lack of work. He continued in the practice of law, maintaining a law office in which he spent from 8 to 12 hours per day.” The receipts from the law office were $31.00 in the 7 weeks following the claimant’s layoff.

DECISION: The claimant is not unemployed.

RATIONALE: “We believe that the words ‘unemployed individual’ are used in [Section] 28 in their ordinarily accepted sense and that, taken in that light, one who is engaged in rendering service for remuneration or who devotes his time to the practice of a profession by which a living is customarily earned cannot be said to be unemployed.”

“Remuneration earned, not remuneration received, is the test under this section. Efforts expended in those weeks may well have earned fees paid at a subsequent date, a thing not at all unusual in a law practice.”

“The burden was on plaintiff to prove his eligibility under [Section] 48. Dwyer v Unemployment Compensation Commission, 321 Mich 178. From the record it does not appear that he sustained that burden.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
11/90