Sunday, November 24, 2013

Fenwick v. Unemployment Compensation Commission case brief

Fenwick v. Unemployment Compensation Commission case brief summary
44 A.2d 172 (1945)

Appellant unemployment compensation commission sought review of a judgment of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, reversing a determination by appellant that an individual was an employee at respondent employer's beauty shop and not a partner.

Respondent employer entered into an agreement with a receptionist after receptionist demanded more money. Receptionist was to receive 20 percent of the profits at the end of the year. Respondent retained all control of the business and its management.


  • The supreme court reversed appellant unemployment compensation commission's finding that the receptionist was an employee. 
  • The court reversed, holding that a partnership did not exist between respondent and the receptionist. 
  • The sharing of profits by respondent and his receptionist alone did not give rise to a partnership. 
  • The court noted that respondent retained all control and management of the business, that there was no obligation to share in losses and respondent contributed all of the capital, and that upon dissolution the receptionist would receive no compensation.

The court reversed the supreme court's finding that a partnership existed between prosecutor and his receptionist because the element of co-ownership was lacking. The agreement was one to share profits resulting from a business owned by prosecutor who contributed all the capital, managed the business and took over all the assets on dissolution. Ownership was conclusively shown to be in him.

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