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New Year, New Employment Law Changes in Illinois

 Posted on January 14, 2016 in DuPage County Business Law Attorney

employment law changes, DuPage County Business Law AttorneyJanuary 3rd brought changes to the Illinois' Unemployment Insurance Act, with these changes reflecting compromises made between both employee and business groups. Included in these changes are an expansion of the type of actions which could result in the termination of an employee's right to collect unemployment benefits, as well as reinstituting the rights of seniors who are laid off to collect unemployment benefits.

Under the prior version of the Act, the misconduct of an employee which would terminate his or her right to unemployment benefits was only defined as "the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy." However, under the new rules, misconduct may now be defined as:

  • Providing false information in an employment application;
  • Consuming alcohol or illegal drugs while on the job;
  • Putting themselves and/or their coworkers in danger by grossly negligent behavior;
  • Causing damage to the employer's property by grossly negligent behavior;
  • Failure to maintain all required certifications, licenses, or registrations as required by the employer;
  • Consistently violating the employer's written attendance policies; and
  • Refusal to follow the employer's lawful and reasonable instructions (exception being the employee's refusal is based on his or her lack of ability training or skills, or to do so would result in an unsafe act).

Those in favor of the new changes—including the governor's office—say that these changes will not only help to deter fraud against the Illinois unemployment benefits system, but will also do away with a $470 million tax increase, as well as a $300 million benefit reduction which were scheduled to take place.

Additional changes to the Act will now allow those laid off workers who are also eligible to receive Social Security benefits to now receive their full unemployment benefit amount. Until now, the state would deduct half of the amount of the claimants Social Security benefit from their unemployment benefit amount. This change will mean an additional $25 million in unemployment benefits to seniors.

With both federal and state employment laws constantly changing and evolving, it is important to have the representation on a skilled DuPage County business law attorney. Call the Law Office of Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC 630-665-2500 to schedule a consultation today.


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