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The IDES Starts Flexing its Personal Liability Muscle

Many are not aware that the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act ("IUIA") contains a personal liability section against business owners, officers, and directors; however, the agency rarely enforces the provision-until now! Starting in 2012, the IDES began using this valuable tool to squeeze contributions directly from the business owners, officers, and directors. The law specifically provides that "any officer or employee of an employer who has control, supervision, or responsibility for the filing of reports or the payment of contributions, payments in lieu of contribution, penalties or interest for the employer and who willfully fails to file the reports or make the payments," will be personally liable.

Only time will tell how this language will be interpreted by the Illinois Courts, however, we do know that the law provides the agency with the power to place liens on business property and go after the true individuals who have control of the Company's purse strings. The main concern will be how courts will interpret the term "willful," but the fact remains that officers or employees who control, supervise, or are responsible for filing reports, contributions, or other payments are being targeted by the IDES. Further the IDES has the power to place a lien against the officers' or employees' home, car, boat, or other personal property.

Every Company will want to review and analyze its current procedures on filing its quarterly reports with the IDES, otherwise, the IDES may flex its muscle and come after your personal property.

Questions? Contact Sean F. Darke in the Chicago office at sedarke@wesselssherman.com or by phone at (312) 629-9300. 

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