Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Robert L. Kent (Hrg. No. 96602567MW) v. State of Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission and AMRE, Inc.  (Case 96-CV-007424, Wis. Cir. Ct., Milwaukee Co., August 11, 1997)

Digest Codes: VL 1059.201

The employe was a salesman for a home improvement business which operated under a license agreement with and performed work under the Sears name. At the end of 1995 the employer changed its affiliation from Sears to Century 21, which was not as well established in the home improvement business. In March 1996 the employe quit his job. The employe asserted that the employer’s change had resulted in a significant reduction in his commissions. The commission held that the evidence showed that there was a regular seasonal decline in business in this field and that the employe had not shown that the reduction he experienced in his commissions in the first months of 1996 was caused by the employer’s change in affiliations or was anything other than the regular seasonal reduction.

Held: Affirmed. The evidence, including the employe’s own admissions, established that this is a seasonal business with a typical reduction in work in the winter. Because the employe failed to offer any comparative evidence from winter months in previous years, it was only a matter of speculation whether the reduction in his commissions in the winter of 1995-1996 was caused by the employer’s change in affiliations.

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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