Issue: Under Illinois law, what is the standard of review applied to a decision to deny unemployment insurance benefits based on misconduct?
|Area of Law:||Insurance, Labor & Employment, Labor and Employment, Litigation Practice & Procedure, Litigation Practice and Procedure|
|Keywords:||; Standard of Review; Unemployment Insurance; Misconduct|
|Cited Cases:||333 U.S. 364|
A review of the Board’s decision to deny unemployment insurance benefits based on an employee’s discharge for misconduct involves a mixed question of law and fact. See Abbott Industries, Inc. v. Department of Employment Security, 2011 IL App. (2d) 100610, ¶¶ 15-16; Hurst v. Department of Employment Security, 393 Ill. App. 3d 323, 327 (2009); Oleszczuk v. Department of Employment Security, 336 Ill. App. 3d 46, 50 (2002). A mixed question of law and fact requires a court to determine the legal effect of a given set of facts. City of Belvidere v. Illinois State Labor Relations Board, 181 Ill. 2d 191, 205 (1998). Mixed questions are reviewed under the "clearly erroneous" standard, which is less deferential to the administrative agency than the manifest weight of the evidence standard. AFM Messenger Service, Inc. v. Department of Employment Security, 198 Ill. 2d 380, 392 (2001). An agency’s decision is clearly erroneous if, based on the entire record, the reviewing court is "’left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.’ " Id. at 393 (quoting United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)).
On appeal, the court will review the final decision of the Board, rather than the decision of the referee or the circuit court. Sudzus v. Department of Employment Security, 393 Ill. App. 3d 814, 819 (2009); Czajka v. Department of Employment Security, 387 Ill. App. 3d 168, 172 (2008).
Applying the clearly […]