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Hillside Holding Corp. v. Division of Employment Security

Decided: September 13, 1954.

HILLSIDE HOLDING CORP., PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENT-RESPONDENT



Jayne, Stanton and Hall. The opinion of the court was delivered by Hall, J.s.c. (temporarily assigned).

Hall

The plaintiff appeals from a decision of the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, dated November 30, 1953, affirming a prior ruling of the Director of the Division of Employment Security holding that it attained subject status as an "employer" under the Unemployment Compensation Law on May 11, 1941, effective as of January 1 of that year, and that the status continued until December 31, 1945 in the absence of an earlier application for termination of coverage. The effect of the decision was to make the plaintiff liable for contributions under R.S. 43:21-7 for the years 1941 through 1945. The basic facts of the situation are not in dispute and the primary question is the interpretation and application to these facts of the pertinent definitory paragraphs of R.S. 43:21-19 as they stood in 1941.

These paragraphs read as follows:

"43:21-19. Definitions

(g) 'Employing unit' means any individual or type of organization, including any partnership, association, trust, estate, joint-stock company, insurance company or corporation * * * which has * * * in its employ one or more individuals performing services for it within this State. * * *.

(h) 'Employer' means:

(1) Any employing unit which for some portion of a day * * * in each of twenty different weeks * * * has or had in employment, eight or more individuals * * *;

(2) * * *

(3) * * *

(4) Any employing unit which together with one or more other employing units, is owned or controlled (by legally enforceable means or otherwise), directly or indirectly by the same interests, or which owns or controls one or more other employing units (by legally enforceable means or otherwise), and which, if treated as a single unit with such other employing unit or interest, would be an employer under paragraph (1) of this subsection; * * *."

Cliffside Dyeing Corporation ("Cliffside") was organized as a New Jersey corporation on May 8, 1940, with three

officers and shareholders. The plaintiff ("Hillside") was similarly organized on November 15, 1940, with the same three persons as its only officers and shareholders. The first corporation operated a dyeing plant and the plaintiff acquired and owned the machinery and equipment used therein, leasing it to Cliffside. Hillside's only employees were its three officers. Cliffside had a large number of employees, far exceeding the eight then required (now four) to come within the statute, even if one were to exclude the three officers common with Hillside. Cliffside was, during the years in question, always a subject employer and paid its contributions, including those computed on the earnings of the three employee-officers holding similar positions with Hillside. It is conceded that Hillside was not organized for the purpose of evading the law. The ...


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