The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) operates an insurance system that provides benefits to certain qualified individuals who have lost their job. Notably, this system has been created in a way that presumes that most applicants (workers) are entitled to unemployment benefits. The onus is on companies to protest invalid unemployment claims.
Unless an employer is able to demonstrate to IDES that there is good reason why an applicant should not receive benefits, then that worker is likely to have their unemployment claim approved. As a company’s unemployment insurance rate will go up based on the number of approved claims, it is imperative that Illinois employers know how to protect their rights. Here, our top-rated Chicago unemployment defense lawyers offer four important tips to help companies handle invalid unemployment claims.
1. Pay Careful Attention to the Reply Date on the Notice of Claim
In far too many cases, Illinois employers lose out on their rights because they wait too long to take action. When your company receives an official Notice of Claim from IDES, the first thing that you should do is to take a careful look at the ‘reply date’ listed on the letter. This is a very strict deadline. If you do not file your protest by the reply date, you will almost certainly lose your case. Be proactive.
2. Prepare a Comprehensive, Accurate Protest Letter
In protesting invalid unemployment claims, businesses are asked to include a detailed protest letter. Essentially, this letter lays out the basic facts of the case from the perspective of the employer. It is crucial that companies submit a well-drafted, comprehensive, and fully accurate protest letter. Even a relatively minor mistake could result in you losing your case.
3. Gather Any and All Relevant Evidence
Any evidence that you have that is relevant to the unemployment claim should be carefully secured. Important evidence can come in a wide range of different forms. In some cases, employers may actually have a copy of a resignation letter directly from the employee. In other cases, witnesses may be able to attest to the fact that the worker actually quit or that the employee engaged in some type of disqualifying misconduct. Regardless of the specific facts, well-presented evidence is the key to a successful unemployment defense.
4. Get Help from a Cook County, IL Unemployment Defense Lawyer
Businesses should always be ready to seek professional legal guidance. An experienced Chicago unemployment defense attorney can help your company put together the strongest possible case. Even if you have already lost during the first stage of the process, you should still be ready to take action. In many cases, our Illinois unemployment defense lawyers have achieved successful results at the appeal hearing level.
At North Suburban Legal Services LLC, we have extensive experience representing Chicago area employers in unemployment defense claims. If an unemployment claim was filed against your business and you need legal help, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm today at (312) 909-6089 to schedule a fully confidential consultation.