Westgate Smoky Mountains at Gatlinburg v. PhillipsAnnotate this Case
Claimant was a licensed time-share salesperson who sold time-share interests at a resort. After resort management terminated the business relationship with Claimant, Claimant filed for state unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development awarded benefits to claimant, concluding that the "qualified real estate agent" exclusion in the Tennessee Employment Security Law's definition of employment did not preclude Claimant from receiving unemployment benefits because Claimant was not a licensed real estate agent. The appeals tribunal and board of review affirmed. The chancery court reversed, determining that a time-share salesperson is a licensed real estate agent and therefore, Claimant was ineligible for unemployment benefits as a qualified real estate agent. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals, holding (1) a time-share salesperson is a licensed real estate agent within the Employment Security Law's qualified real estate agent exclusion; (2) Claimant satisfied the exclusion's criteria and was therefore a qualified real estate agent; and (3) consequently, Claimant was ineligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits.