Hello again Dee and thank you for your patience. It was important that I have as a complete picture of the issues as possible before answering your question. First, let me say that no one, other than the State can ultimately tell you if you qualify for unemployment benefits
, whether you quit or are terminated. That is because every case is decided on the individual facts of that case after both sides are heard. So, no one can ever count on being successful in a claim for unemployment benefits and you should never make your decision to stay or go on the likelihood that you will recieve UI benefits.
In order to qualify though for UI benefits the State must determine that you either were terminated without cause, or quit for "good cause" attributable to the employer. There is no complete laundry list of what is or isn't considered "good cause" to quit in Illinois. However, in general, if the employer is engaged in illegal behavior or there is a major negative change in the terms and conditions of employment AND
the employee has exhausted their remedies to resolve the issue with the employer, then that is usually considered good cause.
The reason I asked you about the substance of your grievance and why you thought you might be targeted is that absent unlawful discrimination
, what you described, although perhaps unprofessional, is not illegal. In other words, unless you were treated in this way because you are a member of a protected class under employment discrimination laws, or retaliated against for filing a discrimination
complaint, the subsequent write up, even if motivated by retaliation for the nondiscrimination complaint, would not be illegal. However, if, as I mentioned, this was all motivated by your gender, race, age (over 40), or some combination, then that would be illegal. However, you would still have to allow the employer to try to resolve the issue before quitting would arguably be considered good cause.
You can read what the questionnaire from the Unemployment Office will look like that you would have to answer should you quit by going to: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Custom/Library/publications/Forms/VoluntaryLeaveQuestionnaire_ADJ002FC.pdf
This is a discussion of the law I described in terms of "good cause:" http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=6841
Just as an aside, because your employer has less than 15 employees, technically neither the discrimination laws of Illinois or Federal law apply to their actions. That though is really only important for filing discrimination complaints with the State or Federal Government or suit, but just wanted you to understand that shortcoming in the law.
Please let me know if you have any specific follow up questions. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.