Hello,I recently was fired from a sales position with a company I had been with for only six weeks. I left a position I had with another company for 14 years to take this new job and the new owner decided to fire me. He gave me a severance pay of six weeks salary to match the time I was there and had me sign a separation agreement before he would pay me the severance. I needed the money, signed the agreement and he paid me the money.My question is "Am I able to still file for unemployment in the State of Illinois even if I signed the agreement and in particular, the following sections which I believe forfeits my right to file a claim with unemployment. 8. As a material inducement to Bema to enter into this Release, Wrobleski herebyirrevocably and unconditionally releases, acquits and forever discharges Bema and each of Bema' sowners, stockholders, predecessors, successors, assigns, agents, directors, officers, employees,representatives, attorneys, divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, parent (and agents, directors, officers,employees, representatives and attorneys of such parent companies, divisions, subsidiaries andaffiliates), and all persons acting by, through, under or in concert with any of them (collectively"Releasees"), or any ofthem, from any and all charges, complaints, claims, liabilities, obligations,promises, agreements, controversies, damages, actions, causes of action, suits, rights, demands,costs, losses, debts and expenses (including attorneys' fees and costs actually incurred) of any naturewhatsoever, known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, in tort, contract or equity, including, butnot limited to, rights under federal, state or local laws prohibiting age or other forms ofdiscrimination, and claims growing out of any legal restrictions on Bema's right to terminate itsemployees.9. Bema hereby irrevocably and unconditionally releases, acquits and forever dischargesWrobleski from any and all charges, complaints, claims, liabilities, obligations, promises,agreements, controversies, damages, actions, causes of action, suits, rights, demands, costs, losses,debts and expenses (including attorneys' fees and costs actually incurred) of any nature whatsoever,known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, in tort, contract or equity, including, but not limitedto, rights under federal, state or local laws and claims growing out of Wrobleski ' s employment withBema.10. Wrobleski expressly waives and relinquishes any and all rights which he may haveunder federal employment discrimination laws, state employment discrimination laws, or any localordinance regarding employment discrimination.11. Wrobleski represents that he has not filed any complaints or charges or lawsuitsagainst Bema with any governmental agency or any court, and that he will not do so at any time,hereafter, regarding any matter which has occurred prior to the execution of this Release.Please comment on this and let me know if I can file unemployment?Thanks,Steve WrobleskiXXX-XXX-XXXX c.
State/Country relating to question: Illinois
Hello,Thank you for the information and your question. Neither Unemployment Benefits nor workers compensation can be waived in a general release severance agreement such as the one you have signed. In addition, Illinois state law prohibits the waiver of these rights (820 ILCS 405/1300). So you will not be prohibited from filing for UI benefits because of your signature on this waiver.
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Marsha,Curious to know if you recieved my reply to your answer? I sent it about 30 minutes ago?Steve Wrobleski
No Steve, I didn't receive your reply. As long as I am online I answer replies immediately. We have systems issues from time to time that interfere with replies, so that may have been what happened. Would you mind sending it again, so that I can assist you with your follow up? Marsha411JD41088.9386771181
OK I will try again, Thanks for your answer above and I am planning to file for unemployment tomorrow! Additionally, The company I worked for prior to the company that just fired me after 6 weeks was a Canadian manufacturer in the same industry just a bit different product line. I was a independant broker contracted to rep that company and I did so for 14 years. Since they were a Canadian company they did not have any presense in the USA, so I had to create a s-corp to report my income taxes ect. I still have this company active but since I went to work for a company I was not generating any income into it, Now that I am unemployed technically and still looking for a permanent position with a new company, in the interum I have been trying to rep a few manufacturers for straight commisions under my s-corps name. I have not sold anything yet but am developing some business that eventually may close and I would then at one point earn comissions. Would unemployment consider me to be employed under this circumstance and not allow unemployment benifits?
Hello again,I can't say with certainty what the State will do in your particular case, because each case is decided on a case by case basis. However, the general presumption is that a claimant is self-employed and therefore not "able and available" and actively seeking full time work from an employer, if they have a company or corporation. Again though, no way to say if you can overcome the presumption with evidence of no activity under the company and active job searching otherwise.
Licensed Attorney with 27 yrs. exp in Employment Law
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