Legal Question in Employment Law in Illinois

I was discharged from my job for misconduct. I found a purse in the parking lot and accidentally left it on the couch in the ladies restroom. When the purse was turned in $300 was missing. The police were called and they interviewed me. I told the officer what had happened and he said he didn't believe me. He told me "I can put you in cuffs and take you to jail in front of all your co-workers or I can just write you a ticket" (he already had it written out) which he explained was just like a traffic ticket. He put a piece of paper in front of me and told me word for word what to write, where to sign and date. During this encounter I was experiencing a panic attack. I have documented medical history of depression, panic attacks, and insominia. When I went to court the state dismissed the charge. Can I go back and refile for my unemployment benefits?

Asked on 9/16/09, 12:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sal Sheikh

Generally Illinois is an "at will" employment state.

An "at will" employee can be fired at anytime for any reason as long as the reason is not illegal (race, sex, ethnicity).

In the State of Illinois all employees are presumed to be "at will" unless there is an employment contract.

I would look to the employee handbook of your company to see if there are any provisions regarding your specific situation.

If you are a contract employee, read through your contract and review any terms that could relate to your situation.

You should not have signed a statement that was not true if this was the case. You probably will not be able to refile for unemployment.

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Answered on 9/21/09, 12:12 pm

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