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05/26/88 Charles F. Hlinka, v. the Department of

May 26, 1988

CHARLES F. HLINKA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

524 N.E.2d 1163, 171 Ill. App. 3d 163, 121 Ill. Dec. 115 1988.IL.831

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Lucia T. Thomas, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. JIGANTI, P.J., and McMORROW, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Defendants, the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Board of Review (Board), appeal from a judgment of the circuit court of Cook County on administrative review which reversed the decision of the Board denying plaintiff, Charles Hlinka, unemployment compensation. Defendants contend that the circuit court erred because plaintiff was not statutorily qualified to receive benefits.

Background

The facts are not in dispute. Plaintiff was the president and sole stockholder for a manufacturing company. Plaintiff worked throughout the calendar year, yet he drew his entire annual salary in the fourth quarter of the year after he determined what that salary should be. In the final quarter of 1984 plaintiff drew a salary of $10,000, and during the final quarter of 1985 the corporation dissolved.

Plaintiff then filed his claim for unemployment compensation. The Board denied the claim because the evidence showed that plaintiff was not paid wages during the other three quarters of his "base period" which, in this case, were the third calendar quarter of 1984 and the first two calendar quarters of 1985. The Board concluded that plaintiff was therefore ineligible for unemployment benefits under section 500of the Unemployment Compensation Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 420).

Section 500provides:

"An unemployed individual shall be eligible to receive benefits with respect to any week only if . . .:

E. . . . With respect to any benefit year beginning or after January 3, 1982, he has been paid during his base period wages for insured work equal to not less than $1,600, provided that he has been paid wages for insured work equal to at least $440 during that part of his base period which does not include the calendar quarter in which the wages paid to him were highest." (Emphasis added.) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 420.)

"Base period" is defined, inter alia, as "the four consecutive calendar quarters ended on the preceding June 30, for benefit years beginning in November, December, or January." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 347(3).) In this case the "base period" in question covered the final two quarters in 1984 and the first two quarters of 1985.

On administrative review the trial court found that section 500was "unreasonable" and expressed the view that the $10,000 should have been prorated over the entire year of 1984, thereby ...


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