New Legislation Opens the Door for Educational Support Personnel to Receive Unemployment Benefits Over the 2021 Summer Break
Jun 30, 2021
On June 25, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2643 into law as Public Act 102-0026, which opens the door for educational support personnel to receive unemployment insurance benefits during the 2021 summer break.
Last summer, Governor Pritzker signed House Bill 2455 enabling non-professional academic employees to receive unemployment insurance benefits during the 2020 summer break, even if the employees had a reasonable assurance of continued employment for the 2020-2021 academic year. Prior to House Bill 2455, Illinois applied the “between terms” denial provision of the Unemployment Insurance Act to non-professional employees. Effectively, House Bill 2455 temporarily carved out the “between terms” denial for the period of March 15, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Following the passage of House Bill 2455, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) published Guidance for Educational Institutions clarifying that House Bill 2455 did not apply to “professional academic employees” such as instructional, principally administrative, or research employees, including but not limited to teachers, counselors, principals, vice principals, or deans, when they had reasonable assurance of returning to their positions when school resumed. Rather, House Bill 2455 applied to “non-professional academic employees” such as custodians, teacher’s aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, security staff, and clerical workers.
Now, Public Act 102-0026 extends the temporary suspension of the “between terms” ineligibility rules for non-professional academic employees to September 4, 2021. The legislation therefore permits educational support personnel to claim and receive unemployment insurance benefits during the 2021 summer break, even when the employees receive reasonable assurance of continued employment for the 2021-2022 academic year. Presumably, IDES will update its previously issued Guidance for Educational Institutions to reflect this change.
Please contact a Robbins Schwartz attorney with any questions regarding Public Act 102-0026.