Askew v Macomber – 20.05

Askew v Macomber
Digest no. 20.05

Section 42

Cite as: Askew v Macomber, 398 Mich 212 (1976).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Carrie Askew
Employer: Alicia Macomber
Docket no.: N/A (This case arose under the Workers’ Compensation Act)
Date of decision: December 7, 1976

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: The test of whether a person or business is liable for workers’ compensation benefits as the employer of a claimant is not a matter of terminology, oral or written, but of the realities of the work performed; control of the claimant is a factor, as is payment of wages, hiring and firing, and the responsibility for the maintenance of discipline, but the test of economic reality views these elements as a whole, assigning primacy to no single one.

FACTS: Carrie Askew claimed worker’s compensation benefits against defendants M. Alicia Macomber, the Second National Bank of Saginaw, and Michigan Mutual Liability Company. Mrs. Macomber, because of her advanced age, had entered into an agency agreement with the bank for the management of her property which authorized the bank to pay for Mrs. Macomber’s care. The bank hired the plaintiff as a practical nurse for Mrs. Macomber and the plaintiff was injured in the course of that employment.

DECISION: Alicia Macomber, not the bank, was the employer of Carrie Askew.

RATIONALE: The bank was operating pursuant to an express agency agreement. The employment of nurses was not an integral part of the bank’s business. The bank was not operating as a labor broker. Although the bank drafted the check for Carrie Askew’s wages, the funds came from the Macomber estate, a separate account. Although the bank discussed wages and hours with Carrie Askew and arranged the hiring of her for Mrs. Macomber, it took no part in the day-to-day control or supervision of Ms. Askew’s duties. There was no evidence of any intent by the bank to supervise or discipline Ms. Askew. The bank’s actions on behalf of Ms. Macomber were those of an agent on behalf of a principal.

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

McKissic v Bodine – 20.04

McKissic v Bodine
Digest no. 20.04

Section 42

Cite as: McKissic v Bodine, 42 Mich App 203 (1972); lv den 388 Mich 780 (1972).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: John S. McKissic
Employer: Harold Bodine
Docket no.: N/A (This case arose under the Worker’s Comp Act.)
Date of decision: July 26, 1972

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: The test to determine whether an employee-employer relationship exists for purposes of the Worker’s Compensation Act is the “economic reality test”, and the factors used to apply the test are whether: (1) the employer will incur liability if the relationship terminates at will; (2) the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business; (3) the employee primarily depends upon the wages for living expenses; (4) the employee furnishes equipment and material; (5) the employee holds himself out to the public as able to perform certain tasks; (6) the work involved is customarily performed by an independent contractor. Along with (7) the factors of control, payment of wages, maintenance of discipline, and the right to engage or discharge employees; and (8) weighing those factors which will most favorably effectuate the purposes of the Act.

FACTS: Claimant worked full-time at a Fisher Body plant. During the period in issue he was off work recovering from an injury. He advertised as a handy man and painted a sign “McKissic Contracting” on his truck. He furnished his own materials, engaged his own workers and worked on his own schedule. He did repairs and general maintenance and while doing such work for Bodine claimant fell and injured himself.

DECISION: Claimant was primarily employed by Fisher Body, and his relationship to Bodine was one of an independent contractor.

RATIONALE: “The plaintiff was primarily employed by another. The doing of odd jobs was a method of securing extra cash for his own enjoyment. He furnished his own tools. He worked for Bodine only when he was available. He contracted each job for a given price, and held himself out to the public as a handyman…. If he desired protection while acting as an independent contractor, he could have made arrangements for accident insurance….”

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

Henry v Ford Motor Co – 20.01

Henry v Ford Motor Co
Digest no. 20.01

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: Henry v Ford Motor Co, 291 Mich 535 (1939).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Lee Henry
Employer: Ford Motor Company
Docket no.:
Date of decision: December 19, 1939

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SUPREME COURT HOLDING: A finding of disability for purposes of worker’s compensation does not necessarily mean a claimant is disabled and ineligible for unemployment insurance under Section 28(1)(c).

FACTS: Claimant suffered a work related injury. He filed for and received worker’s compensation. After some time he returned but could only perform favored work because of a restriction associated with the injury. Ultimately he was laid off and filed for unemployment benefits.

The employer contested the claimant’s eligibility. It asserted that because the claimant had been found disabled by the worker’s compensation board he couldn’t be fully able and available and had to be found ineligible pursuant to Section 28(1)(c) of the Employment Security Act.

DECISION: A finding that an employee is totally disabled so far as returning to pre-injury work is not necessarily inconsistent with a finding that he is able to, and is available for, work within his restrictions.

RATIONALE: An employee permanently disabled to continue the work that he was engaged in when the accident occurred may nevertheless be able to do some light work of a different nature than that in which he was previously engaged.

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