17. Employee Status

Memorial Park Cemetery Sales v MESC – 17.15

Memorial Park Cemetery Sales v MESC
Digest no. 17.15

Section 42

Cite as: Memorial Park Cemetery Sales v MESC, unpublished opinion of the Oakland Circuit Court, issued October 15, 1980 (Docket No. 80-200-878-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Memorial Park Cemetery Sales
Docket no.: L-76-18035-1564
Date of decision: October 15, 1980

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: When salespeople had no set hours, sales quotas or specific territory to cover, and are paid only on a commission and bonus basis, the salespeople are not under the “control or direction” of the employer and, hence, are not employees.

FACTS: Memorial Park Cemetery Sales is the exclusive selling agent for lots and memorials at White Chapel Cemetery. Memorial Park engages the services of sales representatives for the purpose of selling cemetery lots and memorials under the terms and conditions established by White Chapel. The sales representatives are paid on a commission and bonus basis set by White Chapel. The salespeople set their own hours, use such sales aids and equipment as they desire, are assigned no specific sales territory, furnish their own transportation, and are not required to report to the office at all. The relationship was terminable at will.

DECISION: The services provided by the salespersons were not in covered employment under Section 42 of the Michigan Employment Security Act.

RATIONALE: While the public policy of the Act (Section 2) is directed against involuntary unemployment and in favor of encouraging employers to provide stable employment, the sales representatives here are not under the control or direction of the employer. “As noted above, the relations involved herewith are terminable at will, the salesmen set their own hours and are not required to report to the office at all. The work in question leaves the stability strictly up to the salesmen.” This is not a relationship of the type to be protected under Powell v ESC, 345 Mich 455, (1956).

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