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Chicago Unemployment Lawyer

Termination of employment can feel highly personal and can result in messy disputes. If you’re an employee seeking benefits to which you believe you’re entitled, or if you’re an employer seeking to deny a claim for unemployment, there are high financial stakes involved in successfully making your argument. At Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee, our employment lawyers have decades of experience representing corporations and employees in disputes over unemployment benefits. Our hearing and courtroom experience, along with our careful attention to changes in the law, are the tools which make us an excellent choice to represent you in your unemployment compensation issue. Contact our unemployment lawyer today for an evaluation of your case.

Denials of benefits limited

As a general rule, an employee is entitled to receive unemployment compensation benefits upon termination from a job after submitting an application for those benefits. There are two exceptions to this rule where unemployment compensation can be denied: 1) the employee voluntarily left the position; or 2) the employee committed misconduct by deliberately and willfully violating a reasonable policy of the employer. In both cases, challengers to the denial or grant of the unemployment compensation claim will need to be prepared to present evidence supporting their argument.

There are several exceptions where Illinois employees can voluntarily quit their job but still be entitled to unemployment benefits, including cases where the employer no longer had enough for an hourly employee to do, resulting in a substantial cut in hours, or when the employee gave two weeks’ notice but was fired before the two weeks had expired. Our attorneys can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your entitlement to benefits under these exceptions.

Showing employee misconduct

Historically, proving that an employee committed misconduct requires a robust, well-supported argument supporting “deliberate and willful” intentions behind the misconduct. However, there are certain circumstances where an employer will not need to prove an employee’s bad intentions, only that the employee committed particular acts. These include:

  • Falsifying documents provided to the employer, such as an application for employment
  • Failing to keep professional licenses and certifications up to date when those licenses are necessary for the employee to do the job
  • Damaging an employer’s property through behavior that the employee understood was very risky and not in keeping with the behavior of a reasonable or responsible employee
  • Coming to work under the influence of alcohol or illegal or non-prescribed prescription drugs
  • Irresponsible or dangerous acts that threaten the safety of coworkers or themselves

Hearings on unemployment compensation benefit denials

Disputes over unemployment compensation benefits are often resolved in a Referee Hearing. In Illinois, hearings regarding payment or denial of unemployment benefits are held by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, or “IDES.” Having legal representation at these hearings, where evidence is taken and which have their own unique procedural rules, can offer a distinct advantage in clearly and persuasively making your case. Our employment attorneys have extensive experience in successfully representing clients at these hearings and can help you prove your case before the referee.

Help is Available for Illinois Unemployment Compensation Claims

If you are in need of assistance with an unemployment compensation benefit case in the Chicago area, contact a seasoned, dedicated, and professional Illinois unemployment lawyer at Pluymert, MacDonald, Hargrove & Lee for a consultation on your case, in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025, and in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.

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