Gov. Bruce Rauner said recently an agreement was reached between business and labor groups in Illinois aimed at revitalizing and enhancing the state's unemployment insurance system.
The agreement was met with solid backing from Rauner, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
The proposed new framework would make several changes to current unemployment policies. It puts in place provisions that would mean a worker would not be eligible for unemployment benefits if his or her gross negligence damaged an employer's property; if the worker consumed alcoholic beverages during work hours; used illegal or prescription drugs for which he or she did not have a prescription; gave false information on an employment application; put at risk their own safety or the safety of other workers with negligent conduct; knowingly and repeatedly violated the employer's written attendance policies; or failed to maintain required licenses, registrations and certifications necessary to legally perform a job.
Under current regulations, workers who commit these acts and are terminated as a result are still eligible for unemployment benefits.
Further, the agreement will make separated workers who are receiving Social Security benefits ineligible for any unemployment benefits. Presently, separated workers on Social Security can receive 50 percent of their unemployment benefits.
To take effect, the agreement has to go before the Illinois General Assembly, pass both houses and be signed by Rauner.