17. Employee Status

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Cite as: Apple Crest Farms v Gardner, unpublished opinion of the Wayne County Circuit Court, issued June 4, 1990 (Docket No. 90-002881-AE).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

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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:

10. Voluntary Leaving

Miller v Hoffmaster Farms – 10.28

Miller v Hoffmaster Farms
Digest no. 10.28

Section 29(1)(a)

Cite as: Miller v Hoffmaster Farms, unpublished opinion of the Allegan County Circuit Court, issued January 11, 1980 (Docket No. 79-1282 AV).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: L. Scott Miller
Employer: Hoffmaster Farms
Docket no.: EB76 17267 55335
Date of decision: January 11, 1980

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: (1) An individual who leaves a non-liable employing unit to accept work with a liable employer is disqualified for voluntary leaving. (2) A disqualification is not made moot by a claimant’s subsequent receipt of the maximum benefit entitlement.

FACTS: The claimant tended a dairy herd, on a part-time basis, for a non-liable agricultural employing unit. He was disqualified for leaving to accept full-time work with a liable employer, but subsequently received benefits for the maximum number of weeks.

DECISION: The claimant is disqualified for voluntary leaving.

RATIONALE: “While another party, one actually deprived of benefits, may have better standing to present the issue involved in this case, the claimant should be entitled to a circuit court review of the record … “.

“[A]n employing unit can be composed of agricultural labor, but such a unit, at least during the period that appellant worked for Hoffmaster Farms, cannot be subject to the terms of MCLA 421.41; MSA 17.543 defining ’employer.'”

“It should be pointed out that MCLA 421.29 (5); MSA 17.531 (5) waives the disqualification period when an individual leaves an employer, even though working part-time, to take a full-time job with another employer. Presumably, because not all employing units are employers, this waiver is not extended to those individuals who leave an employing unit to take a job with an employer.”

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