04. Total or Partial Unemployment

MESC v Worth – 4.24

MESC v Worth
Digest no. 4.24

Section 44(5)

Cite as: MESC v Worth, unpublished opinion of the Oceana Circuit Court, issued February 13, 1995 (Docket No. 94-004703-AE); lv den, Mich App, July 7, 1995 (No. 184836); lv den, Mich, April 29, 1996 (No. 103801).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Jane Worth
Employer: Michigan Department of State
Docket no.: B92-27803-124350W
Date of decision: February 13, 1995

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Payments made from insurance, annuities or a fund for disability coverage are not remuneration or considered wages under the Michigan Employment Security Act. However, “sick pay” is remuneration and constitutes wages under the Michigan Employment Security Act and as such must be considered when computing benefit rates.

FACTS: The claimant worked for the employer from December 1976 until November 1991. She was laid off for lack of work. The employer did not include in its wage calculations submitted to the MESC the amounts paid the claimant in the form of sick pay. The employer’s computation of the claimant’s average weekly wage was $413.70 which would entitle the claimant to $224.00 a week in benefits. The claimant computed her average weekly wage as $445.47 which would entitle her to $240.00 a week in benefits. The claimant used her gross wages without deducting any amounts received in the form of sick payments. At issue was the $16.00 per week difference in benefits.

DECISION: “Sick pay” is wages and therefore, claimant’s average weekly wage was $445.47 which entitled the claimant to $240.00 a week in benefits

RATIONALE: Payments made from insurance, annuities or on account of accidents are not wages any more than an accident, retirement or death benefit would be considered a wage. Similarly, sickness disability payments are either insurance benefits payments or a form thereof and are not wage payments. However sick pay amounts to a decision of an employer to pay the day wages to an employee when the employee is ill. The sick payments are remuneration and wages under the Michigan Employment Security Act.

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

19. Federal Court Decisions & TRA

UAW v Brock – 19.01

UAW v Brock
Digest no. 19.01

Section 231(2) of the Trade Act of 1974

Cite as: UAW v Brock, 816 F2d 761 (DC Cir 1987).

Appeal pending: No
Plaintiff: International Union U.A.W., et al.
Defendant: William Brock, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
Docket no.: N/A
Date of decision: April 24, 1987

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U.S. COURT OF APPEALS, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT HOLDING: For purposes of the TRA program, the term “employment” ordinarily includes weeks of paid vacation and sick leave.

FACTS: To qualify for TRA benefits a worker has to have “at least 26 weeks of employment at wages of $30 or more a week in adversely affected employment”. The Department of Labor interpreted qualifying employment as weeks of actual physical labor, not including weeks when the worker received sick pay, workers compensation, holiday pay, back pay, etc.

DECISION: TRA claimants who were denied benefits because they were not credited for weeks prior to October, 1981 in which they received vacation pay, holiday pay, sick leave, workers compensation or other enumerated types of compensation during the 52 week period preceding their separation from adversely affected employment, may request reopening of their TRA claims. On November 17, 1987 the U.S.D.O.L. issued revised definitions for the terms “employment” and “wages” as used in Section 231(2) of the Trade Act of 1974, in conformity with the court order.

RATIONALE: “The actual language of the statute, the clear remedial purpose of the 1974 Congress, and the demonstrably unreasonable results that flow from the Secretary’s definition of ’employment’ make clear that his interpretation of Section 231 of the Trade Act conflicts with congressional intent. Because the Secretary’s interpretation can find no support in the statute or its legislative history, and because it is so thinly justified as to be unreasonable, we reject it as an invalid construction of the Trade Act.”

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