Wake-up Call to Employers About Unemployment Laws

A recent Illinois appellate court case reemphasises what employers need to do to oppose an unemployment claim.

An employee was found by his supervisor asleep on duty as a security guard at O’Hare airport. The employer terminated the employee and the employee filed for unemployment benefits.

The Board of Review rejected the employer’s assertion that the employee was discharged for misconduct for sleeping on duty. In doing so, the Board concluded that the employee’s falling asleep on duty was not deliberate and willful misconduct within the meaning of Section 602(A) of the Unemployment Insurance Act. The Board held that there were no indications that the employee previously had fallen asleep on duty, that he realized he was falling asleep, or that he made no efforts to stay awake; and he had no history of work infractions.

The employer appealed the Board of Review’s finding. The Appellate Court for the First District affirmed the Board’s finding holding that the employee was eligible for unemployment benefits, and had not committed misconduct even though employer had reason to fire him for sleeping at work.

Knowing when and how to terminate employees so you can oppose their unemployment claims is tricky business. Contact us today to learn more about Illinois unemployment laws and how having good hiring and firing practices can help you do so efficiently.


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Richard Lofgren
Richard Lofgren
Richard Lofgren
Richard Lofgren has twenty eight years of legal experience working with businesses on the issues they face daily during their business cycles. Acting in the capacity of an outside general counsel, he helps business owners to make smarter decisions, build stronger relationships and make and save money.