Three Most Common Employer Defenses to Unemployment Claims in Illinois

Unemployment insurance helps to support workers who lost a job. In Illinois, the system is funded by contributions from employers. The unemployment insurance rates paid by a business or organization are determined, in part, by the level of unemployment “caused” by that employer. In other words, your company will have to pay more if many of your former employees are filing for benefits.

As such, it is sensible for employers to protest unjustified unemployment claims. Illinois puts the burden of proof for challenging unemployment benefits squarely on the employer. Here, our Chicago unemployment defense attorney highlights three (3) defenses employers can raise to protest a former employee’s claim for unemployment benefits.

How You Might Defend an Unemployment Compensation Claim in Illinois

  1. The Employee Did Not Meet Work Requirements — At Least on Your Record 

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Illinois, an individual must have sufficient recent work history. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), work history can be combined across multiple employers. If an employee just started at your company and then was almost immediately terminated, your business might be able to defend the claim on the grounds that the applicant is not eligible for benefits, at least on your record. Generally, this defense is only an option for employees who were removed within the first few weeks of being hired. 

  1. The Employee Voluntarily Left their Position 

Unemployment insurance is generally designed for people who lost their jobs against their will. In Illinois, you can only apply for unemployment benefits after you quit if you left your position for “good cause.” An employer may be able to defend an unemployment claim on the grounds that they voluntarily quit. When using this defense, it is useful to have a copy of the resignation letter or any other related evidence/information.  

  1. The Employee Was Removed for Serious Misconduct

Finally, companies can defend an unemployment compensation claim on the grounds of employee misconduct. In Illinois, an applicant for unemployment benefits may be denied if they were removed from their position if they were fired for serious wrongdoing. Some examples include: 

  • Consistent attendance problem
  • Extreme insubordination
  • Severe mistreatment of coworkers
  • Drug or alcohol use on-premises
  • Damage to employer property due to gross negligence
  • Criminal misconduct.

As these are some of the most complex unemployment compensation claims to defend, it is crucial that you consult with a qualified Illinois unemployment defense attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will review your case and help you build a strong defense. 

Call Our Chicago Unemployment Defense Lawyer for Immediate Help

At North Suburban Legal Services LLC, our Illinois unemployment defense attorneys are skilled, trustworthy advocates for businesses and organizations. If you have questions about protesting an unemployment claim, we can help. Contact us today for a completely confidential review of your unemployment case. With a legal office in Chicago, we represent employers throughout the entire region, including in Evanston, Aurora, Oak Lawn, Naperville, Elgin, Downers Grove, and St. Charles.




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