Supreme Court Rules Time-Share Salesperson Excluded From Unemployment Benefits

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a Gatlinburg-area time-share salesperson is not entitled to unemployment benefits.

The salesperson had worked for several years selling time shares at Westgate Smoky Mountains under an independent contractor agreement. In 2009, Westgate terminated that business relationship and the salesperson filed a claim for unemployment compensation.

The Department of Labor considered whether the salesperson was subject to a law that excludes qualified real estate agents from receiving unemployment benefits. The Department concluded that time-share salespeople do not fall under the real estate agent exclusion and granted the benefits.

Westgate sought review from the Appeals Tribunal, which agreed the benefits should be paid, although for somewhat different reasons. Westgate advanced the matter to the Board of Review, which upheld the award of benefits.

Westgate then took the matter to the Chancery Court, which concluded that a time-share salesperson does fall under the real estate agent exclusion and therefore would not qualify for unemployment compensation. The salesperson took the case to the Court of Appeals, which reversed the trial court’s decision and granted the unemployment pay.

Today, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and ruled that a time-share salesperson is a licensed real estate agent.  The Court also ruled that the salesperson met the exclusion for qualified real estate agents and was not entitled to unemployment benefits.

To read the unanimous Opinion in Westgate Smoky Mountains at Gatlinburg v. Burns Phillips, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, authored by Justice Janice M. Holder, visit the Opinions section of TNCourts.gov


Promotions Announced At Henderson Hutcherson And McCullough

Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough announced 11 accountants have been promoted to manager and supervisor. Jon Paul Davis, CPA, Jones Krogh, CPA, CFP, Adam Osborne, CPA, and Branden Wilson, CPA, were promoted to manager. Liana Bean, CPA, Blake Bennett, CPA, Chad Goodman, CPA, Zach Hutcherson, CPA, MBA, Tammy Jacobs, CPA, Khara Lounsbury, CPA, and Sydney Zumbrun, CPA, ... (click for more)

Lifetouch National School Studios Recognized As Pretreatment Excellence Award Winner

The City of Chattanooga's Publ i c Works Waste Resources Div i s i on has recogn i zed Lifetouch Nat i onal School Studios as thi s year's Pretreatment Exce llence Award winn e r. The annual award i s given by the city to a manufactur e r that has e ffici e ntly op ... (click for more)

Erlanger Finishes Fiscal Year With $18 Million Profit

After a major loss the year before, Erlanger Health System finished the fiscal year with an $18 million profit, officials announced Monday night. It was well ahead of the $2 million gain that Erlanger had budgeted for, and far better than last year's $8 million loss. The profit was boosted by a first-time $19,587,000 from a Public Hospital Supplemental payment and essential ... (click for more)

Chancellor Rules That IDB Must Reimburse Attorney Fees, Other Legal Costs For Helen Burns Sharp On TIF Lawsuit

Chancellor Pam Fleenor has ruled that Helen Burns Sharp, who sued over the validity of a $9 million Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for a planned major development on Aetna Mountain, should be reimbursed her discretionary costs as well as her attorney fees. Ms. Sharp said in a recent court filing that her legal bills to attorney John Konvalinka were $74,427 at the time. The ... (click for more)

ChattaData Is A Real Advance For The City

This past Tuesday, the city of Chattanooga's new performance management tool called ChattaData was unveiled. As the chairman of the City Council’s Budget & Finance Committee, I am excited to witness the city putting this important information online in a way that is accessible and transparent to all taxpayers. This approach shines light on how we as a city prioritize our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Apollos Hester’s Way

East View High was trailing at halftime by a pair of touchdowns in last Friday night’s game against unbeaten Vandegrift. But the players at the Georgetown, Texas, school each have a sticker on the back of their helmets that says “TPW” which is a constant reminder that “Tough People Win.” Then there is “attitude” and that is where running back Apollos Hester steps in. In what ... (click for more)