07. Eligibility - Able & Available

High Scope Educational Research Foundation v Easton – 7.19

High Scope Educational Research Foundation v Easton
Digest no. 7.19

Section 28(1)(c)

Cite as: High Scope Ed Research Foundation v Easton, unpublished opinion of the Washtenaw Circuit Court, issued September 25, 1979 (No. 78 15844 AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Nick J. Easton
Employer: High Scope Educational Research Foundation
Docket no.: B77 8 55981
Date of decision: September 25, 1979

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where an unemployed person becomes the proprietor of an antique shop, but remains able and available and continues to seek work, the claimant is still attached to the labor market.

FACTS: The claimant was laid off from full-time employment in June, 1976. While still unemployed, he invested $3,500 and opened an antique shop. The claimant continued to look for employment at numerous places, made arrangements to have someone fill in for him if necessary, and was willing to give up the shop if he found suitable employment.

DECISION: The claimant was genuinely attached to the labor market.

RATIONALE: The Court followed the reasoning adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court in Bolles v ESC, 361 Mich 378 (1960), and concluded: “In the instant case, Mr. Easton was not ‘content to remain idle,’ and so opened the antique store. During the period in question, he lost money in all but one week. High Scope attempts to distinguish Bolles on the ground that Mr. Easton had a ‘large’ inventory (approximately $3,500.00) tied up in the store, and so could not ignore his store obligations, making him effectively unavailable for full-time employment. This court does not agree. The claimants in Bolles also had a substantial investment in their jewelry store. No figure is mentioned, but they did pay for the remodeling and redecoration of the building which they rented and paid for advertising. The Bolles court did not mention the investment by claimant as a factor for consideration.”

“There was ample evidence in the instant case that Mr. Easton had made arrangements to cover his shop obligations in the event he found a job. Further, this court does not consider $3,500.00 such a substantial inventory investment to preclude Mr. Easton from accepting a full-time job.”

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