Charlottesville Music Center, Inc. v. McCray

In Charlottesville Music Center, Inc. v. McCray, 215 Va. 31, 205 S.E.2d 674 (1974), fifteen-year-old Jeffrey McCray stopped in at the Charlottesville Music Center to help a friend, who had a summer job at the store, install shelving. While the owner of the Music Center knew McCray was present, he had not agreed to pay the boy for his efforts. McCray, 215 Va. at 35-36, 205 S.E.2d at 678. McCray was killed as he assisted in the shelving project, and his administrator sued the store for death benefits under the Act. The Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed the trial court's conclusion that McCray was not an "employee" within the meaning of the Act and therefore the administrator could not recover benefits. The Supreme Court held that McCray was not an employee because no "implied contract of hire" existed between the decedent and the store. Id. at 35, 205 S.E.2d at 678. The Court held that an "implied contract of hire" may be presumed from the circumstances surrounding the parties' working relationship: An implied contract of hire exists where one party has rendered services or labor of value to another under circumstances which raise the presumption that the parties intended and understood that they were to be paid for, or which a reasonable man in the position of the person receiving the benefit of the services or labor would or ought to know that compensation or remuneration of some kind was to be exchanged for them. Id. The circumstances surrounding McCray's voluntary passing presence at the Music Center did "not permit a presumption that decedent and defendant, by their conduct, intended that decedent would be paid for his work." McCray, 215 Va. at 35-36, 205 S.E.2d at 678.