Carpentersville, IL asked in Employment Law for Illinois

Q: With Biden's new executive order, may I keep my unemployment benefits if I quit my job due to fear & medical reason?

I do not feel safe returning due to the nature of my job (janitorial) at a very large bar/restaurant (who has remained open) , and mostly due to my medical condition (asthma), I have a mother who is severely immounocomprised I live with/ I also think that the job in general is so physically demanding, (whether it be dealing with harsh chemicals, heavy lifting) for all of these reasons, my family and I have decided it'd be best if I dont return, and I find a job more suitable for me. I am desperately seeking some legal advice of moving forward with this process. I was recently laid off one month ago (due to slow business) and I am most likely expecting to get called back to my job in 3-4 weeks time, through much discussion with my family, I have made the decision to remain at home & safe by all means necessary, but I absolutely need to keep my unemployment. I have been told before to contact IDES, but that is impossible being nobody is there, thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Cynthia Pietrucha
Cynthia Pietrucha
  • Naperville, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Here are some IDES FAQ you may find helpful:

3/16/2020 COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits - IDES 2/3

What if I‘m temporarily laid off because the place where I work is temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 virus?

An individual temporarily laid off in this situation could qualify for benefits as long as he or she was

able and available for and actively seeking work. Under emergency rules IDES recently adopted, the

individual would not have to register with the employment service. He or she would be considered to

be actively seeking work as long as the individual was prepared to return to his or her job as soon

the employer reopened.

What if I quit my job because I am generally concerned over the COVID-19 virus?

An individual who leaves work voluntarily without a good reason attributable to the employer is

generally disqualified from receiving UI. The eligibility of an individual in this situation will depend on

whether the facts of his or her case demonstrate the individual had a good reason for quitting and

that the reason was attributable to the employer. An individual generally has a duty to make a

reasonable effort to work with his or her employer to resolve whatever issues have caused the

individual to consider quitting.

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