Sayler v. Dep’t of Labor & Indus., Ins. Div.Annotate this Case
Petitioner, the owner and president of a Montana corporation, stopped paying himself a salary but continued working. Petitioner applied for and received unemployment benefits but reported to the State of Montana Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) that he worked zero hours per week. When DLI discovered that Petitioner worked fifty hours a week, DLI determined that Petitioner had wrongfully received benefits. DLI ordered Petitioner to repay the overpaid benefits and imposed an administrative penalty. The district court reversed in part, concluding that when Petitioner drew no salary he did not need to report the hours he worked and was eligible to receive benefits. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a corporate officer working full-time without pay for his corporation is engaged in employment under Montana’s Unemployment Insurance Law and is required to report his hours of work when seeking unemployment benefits; and (2) DLI correctly imposed a penalty on Petitioner for misrepresenting the amount of hours he worked.