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


Partnership FCA Announces Thrift Store Grand Opening

Partnership for Families, Children and Adults announced the Grand Opening of a retail store, Partnership FCA Thrift and Consignment. The store opens  Aug. 30  and is located at 301-D Martin Luther King Boulevard. The grand opening will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting and reception at  11 a.m.  on  Tuesday, Aug. 30 . Regular business hours will ... (click for more)

Todd Gaither Receives Certified Long-Term Care Designation

Todd Gaither, a financial advisor with Tandem Financial Partners, of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., has been awarded a professional designation in the field of long-term care, Certified in Long-Term Care. The program is independent of the insurance industry and is designed to provide financial service professionals with expertise and tools to address long-term care planning ... (click for more)

Maryville Police Department's Kenny Moats Slain

Officer Kenny Moats of the Maryville Police Department was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call on Thursday.  Officer Moats was with the department for over nine years and was currently serving as a drug enforcement agent. Assistant Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security David Purkey said, "It is with heavy heart that I express my condolences ... (click for more)

Auto Burglary Thwarted In Bradley County

A man has been arrested in Bradley County, after attempting to steal a vehicle. On Thursday, Deputy Jessica Morgan observed a silver truck in a church parking lot on South Lee Highway. While checking the premises, Dep. Morgan observed a male wearing a black tank top and red shorts exiting the rear window of the cab into the bed of the truck. Once the suspect noticed Dep. Morgan, ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Gold & Ivory Tablecloth

Not long ago, in my morning reading, I happened across an obscure tale about a special tablecloth. And, as things like this are more and more wont to do, I was instantly blessed by this story. As I tracked down its origin, I learned it originally appeared in a 1954 edition of Reader’s Digest. Written by the Rev. Howard C. Schade, who at the time was the pastor of the First Reformed ... (click for more)