BOARD OF APPEALS
|DECISION NO: 1043-BH-81
DATE: November 2, 1981
|CLAIMANT: John Fisher
|| APPEAL NO.: 15730
|EMPLOYER: Fisher Products Corp.
||L.O. NO: 1
Issue: Whether the Claimant was able to work, available for work
and actively seeking work within the meaning of Section
4 (c) of the Law; and whether the Claimant was unemployed
within the meaning of Section 20 (1) of the Law.
- NOTICE OF RIGHT OF APPEAL TO COURT -
YOU MAY FILE AN APPEAL FROM THIS DECISION IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE LAWS OF MARYLAND. THE APPEAL MAY BE TAKEN IN PERSON
OR THROUGH AN ATTORNEY IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF BALTIMORE
CITY, OR THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE COUNTY IN MARYLAND IN WHICH YOU RESIDE.
THE PERIOD FOR FILING AN APPEAL EXPIRES AT MIDNIGHT December 2, 1981.
|For the Claimant:
John Fisher - Claimant
Nesbit V. Fisher - Wife
|For the Employer:
John Zell - Legal Counsel
The Board of Appeals has considered all of the evidence presented,
including the testimony offered at the hearings. The Board
has also considered all of the documentary evidence introduced
into this case, as well as Employment Security Administration's
documents in the appeal file.
FINDINGS OF FACT
The Claimant and his wife are, respectively, president and secretary
/treasurer of the Fisher Products Corp., a family corporate
business. The corporation has been in existence since 1959.
For several years prior to March of 1980, the corporation was engaged
exclusively" in the home building business. The Claimant
was as a salaried employee of the business.
On March 20, 1980, the business went out of operation due to a
lack of orders, but the corporation was not dissolved.
The Claimant performed no services for the corporation except to respond
to complaints concerning defects in houses that had been
previously built. The Claimant received no wages or remuneration
of any kind for this work. His worked consumed from a
few hours to a half day of the Claimant's time, about
once every three weeks. The Claimant did no bidding, cost
estimating or sales work for the corporation during the
period between December of 1980 and March of 1981.
The Claimant filed for unemployment insurance benefits in December
of 1980. The Claimant looked for work in his previous
occupation, personally visiting places as far away as
Washington, D.C. and Glen Burnie, Maryland. The Claimant
was obviously searching in a depressed industry, but his
method of seeking work was honestly designed to find employment.
He also sought work in the home improvement field and in retail car sales.
In April of 1980, the Claimant began to seek business for the corporation
obtaining home improvement contracts.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
During the period for which claims were filed, the Claimant was unemployed
with in the meaning of Section 20 (1) of the Law.
In the Fourtinakis case, Board Decision No. 870-BH- 81, the Board ruled that
the test of whether the person meets the definition of
20 (1) of the Law is whether that individual has performed
services with respect to which wages are paid or payable.
In the Gleason case, Board Decision No. 1033-BH -81, the
Board held that there is no special exception to this
rule for corporate officers.
The Claimant in this case was performing no services for which wages
were payable during the period in which he filed claims.
He thus clearly met the definition of "unemployed" in
Section 20 (1) of the Law.
As the Board made clear in the Gleason case, it is appropriate to closely
examine the eligibility of corporate officers under Section
4 (c) of the Law. For this reason, the issue was raised
and litigated at the Board level. The Claimant's actions
in energetically seeking work in his own field and other
fields, in his own geographical area and other areas,
showed that he was honestly seeking full-time, permanent
work. The Claimant was able, available and actively seeking
work within the meaning of Section 4(c) of the Maryland
Unemployment Insurance Law.
The Claimant is not disqualified under Section 20 (1) of the
Maryland Unemployment Insurance Law.
The Claimant was able, available and actively seeking
work within the meaning of Section 4 (c) of the Maryland
Unemployment Insurance Law. He is eligible for benefits
from the week beginning November 30, 1980, until the week
ending March 14, 1981, if he is otherwise eligible for benefits.
The decision of the Appeals Referee is reversed.
Thomas W. Keech, Chairman
Hazel A. Warnick, Associate Member
DATE OF HEARING: October 27, 1981
COPIES MAILED TO:
John Zell - Legal Counsel
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - BALTIMORE