Reasons For A Business To Hire An Illinois Unemployment Claims Defense Lawyer

Illinois employees are entitled to unemployment benefits if they are laid off or terminated due to no fault of their own. However, there are situations where a company should contest paying unemployment benefits and retain an Illinois unemployment claims defense lawyer.

Why Should You Hire An Unemployment Claims Defense Lawyer?

Some unemployment claims are legitimate. For example, there is no point in fighting an unemployment claim if a worker was laid off due to no fault of their own. However, you may want to retain an Illinois unemployment claims defense attorney in these situations:

  • Increase in unemployment insurance rates: While layoff is a legitimate reason for someone to file for unemployment, companies do not want workers to claim benefits unfairly, or their insurance rates will rise. The tax rate companies pay is partly decided by how many claims former employees make.
  • Concern the employee will file a wrongful termination lawsuit: Receiving an unemployment benefits application can be helpful to see the worker’s side of the story. In addition, this information can help determine if you think the worker will file for wrongful termination.

Before you and your organization fight an unemployment claim, it is wise to proceed cautiously. These are costly legal fights, guaranteeing your former employee will be an enemy. Also, if the worker has friends who are still with the company, this could have a negative effect on the organization.

When Should You Contest An Unemployment Claim?

Unemployment is intended to provide temporary income to employees who lose their jobs. Unemployment compensation is usually awarded to people who lost their jobs due to layoffs, cutbacks, and other reasons that are not the employees’ fault.

Illinois finances unemployment benefits by levying taxes on employers, which are experience-rated. This means that companies with a higher number of former workers receiving unemployment will pay higher taxes and are usually paid quarterly.

The unemployment claims experience rating affects the company’s taxes, so it is often in the company’s interest to appeal an unwarranted claim. In most cases, these claims occur when a worker voluntarily leaves the job, or they were fired for cause. Below are the steps to determine if your organization should contest the unemployment claim and possibly retain an unemployment claims defense attorney:

Receive The Unemployment Claim

When the worker files for unemployment, you will get a notification from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). This notification includes information that the worker provided to support the benefits application. In addition, the commission could have you be part of a hearing over the telephone to determine if the unemployment claim should be honored.

Verify Claim Details

Your organization should verify the information the employee provided to the unemployment commission. First, check that the person worked for your organization and that the information on wages, employment dates, and related information is accurate.

Next, verify the details that led to the claim. This is usually related to the details about why the employee was terminated.

Determine If You Want To Appeal The Unemployment Claim

There are situations where an employer will want to contest an unemployment claim. However, remember that the employee has a right to receive benefits in Illinois if they lost work through layoffs or through no fault of their own, or their work hours were cut for reasons that were not their fault. However, if the employee engaged in willful misconduct including the following examples, you may want to have an unemployment claims defense lawyer assist you:

Violating Company Policies

You must prove that your company has a policy or rule and that the worker violated it. It does not matter if the worker knew the rule or not.

Did Not Follow Instructions

You must prove that the company gave instructions to the worker and they did not follow them. However, the unemployment commission will not consider it willful misconduct if it decides the company’s instructions were unreasonable and the employee was justified in not following them.

Excessive Tardiness

It is willful misconduct if the worker does not have good reasons for being late or absent. But if the employee was sick or disabled, these are reasonable causes, and they may be entitled to unemployment benefits.

Not Meeting Reasonable Behavior Standards

These are standards that the company may not have in the policy manual, but include sleeping at work, fighting, stealing, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in abusive or offensive behavior.

After your company reviews the information above, if you think the worker has a right to unemployment, you should report that to the unemployment commission., But if you believe that the worker engaged in willful misconduct, you can contest the unemployment claim.

Collect Evidence

If you believe the worker is not entitled to unemployment based on the facts, you must gather evidence for your case to present to the IDES. You should gather all written evidence to support your view of the unemployment claim, including the worker’s attendance records, disciplinary actions, and any resignation letter or letter asking for reduced hours, if applicable.

Attend The Unemployment Benefits Hearing

You or your attorney must attend this hearing to explain why you believe the employee should not receive unemployment benefits. Therefore, preparing carefully, removing emotion, and being prompt to the hearing is critical.

Receive The Decision

After you attend the hearing, an unemployment officer will usually tell you when there will be a decision. If the IDES decides to favor the worker, you will be notified of how to appeal. The agency will explain why the determination was made, and you and your attorney can decide if appealing is in your best interests.

Contact Our Illinois Unemployment Claims Defense Lawyer

The process to claim unemployment in Illinois is relaxed and designed to favor the worker. However, if you are a company in the state with at least two employees, it is usually beneficial to have an unemployment benefits case reviewed by an attorney.

After all, if you have to pay unemployment, your company must pay more in unemployment insurance benefit tax deductions, which can reduce company growth. Furthermore, the burden of proof is on you to prove that your former employee is not entitled to benefits.

If your business needs assistance with an unemployment benefits claim filed by an employee, contact our Illinois unemployment claims defense lawyer at North Suburban Legal Services at (312) 909-6089.




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