Seligman & Associates, Inc v MESC – 20.03

Seligman & Associates, Inc v MESC
Digest no. 20.03

Section 44(2)

Cite as: Seligman & Assoc, Inc v MESC, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued May 6, 1987 (Docket No. 85110).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Seligman & Associates, Inc.
Docket no.: N/A
Date of decision: May 6, 1987

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The value of lodging provided to resident caretakers for the convenience of the employer is not considered wages under the Act.

FACTS: The employer operates numerous apartment complexes. The employer provides rent-free apartments to the apartment caretakers and requires them to live on the premises to be available to handle tenant complaints that may arise.

DECISION: The employer is entitled to a refund of contributions paid based on inclusion of the value of the lodging in calculation of wages.

RATIONALE: The reasonable cash value of lodging is to be considered wages only if it is extended as full or partial remuneration for the services rendered. There is no showing that the lodging was intended as partial compensation for the employees.

“This interpretation of the definition of wages is consistent with the United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of the definition of wages under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) in Rowan Co, Inc v United States, 452 US 247 (1981). In Rowan the Supreme Court held that for the purposes of FUTA wages do not include the value of meals and lodging provided for the convenience of the employer.”

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

Barnett v Good Housekeeping Shop – 4.05

Barnett v Good Housekeeping Shop
Digest no. 4.05

Section 44

Cite as: Barnett v Good Housekeeping Shop, unpublished opinion of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued March 14, 1983 (Docket No. O/P B78 53596 60992); lv den 418 Mich 873 (1983).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Rebekah Barnett
Employer: Good Housekeeping Shop
Docket no.: O/P B78 53596 60992
Date of decision: March 14, 1983

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The distinction in Section 44(5)(a) and (c) of the MES Act as to the treatment of disability payments as wages depending on whether the disability benefits are paid directly to an employee or through a disability plan does not constitute a denial of equal protection.

FACTS: Claimant, a 12 year employee, was on a medical leave and received 26 weeks of medical disability benefits through a disability insurance plan provided by the employer. When her disability ended claimant’s employment was terminated. She applied for unemployment benefits but had insufficient credit weeks because the disability payments were not considered wages under Section 44(5) because they were paid through an insurance plan rather than directly to the employee.

DECISION: Claimant does not have sufficient credit weeks to establish a claim because disability payments she received do not constitute wages under Section 44 of the Act.

RATIONALE: “Equal protection in its guarantee of like treatment to all similarly situated citizens permits classification which is reasonable and not arbitrary and which is based upon material and substantial differences which have reasonable relation to the object or persons dealt with and to the public purpose or purposes sought to be achieved by the legislation involved. The equal protection clause does not forbid discrimination with respect to things that are different. Gauthier v Campbell, Wyant & Cannon Foundry Co360 Mich 510, 514 (1960). We find as did the trial court, that the legislative purpose in the distinction of Section 44 is to encourage the establishment of plans and systems which would financially aid workers when they are ill and disabled and for which unemployment benefits are not payable because the individual employees are not qualified under section 28 of the act, because they are not able and available for work due to the sickness or disability.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
6/91