Unemployment Compensation CLC-AFO

Your union along with Illinois Education Association has worked with the Department of Labor (DOL) to change the guidelines that govern adjuncts receiving unemployment.  As of January 2017 DOL guidelines now specifically mention “adjunct faculty” and take into account the reality of being adjunct faculty.

  • The difficulty previously for adjunct faculty has been establishing a “reasonable assurance” of employment. If you had a reasonable assurance of employment you could not get unemployment compensation.
  • DOL has now broadened the definition of “reasonable assurance” of employment to include many realities that all adjuncts face between semesters.
  • The changes in the guidelines make it easier to get unemployment compensation for adjunct faculty between semesters, for example, between fall and spring and between spring and fall semesters.
  • EVEN WITH AN OFFER OF A CLASS IN THE NEXT SEMESTER you may be eligible to receive unemployment.

Department of Labor now mandates that the decision to grant unemployment to adjunct faculty must be based on the merits of the case, and the Illinois Board of Employment Security must now weigh:

  • The possibility of classes being cancelled due to low enrollment
  • The nature of the course offered (required or optional, regular class or sporadically offered, etc.)
  • The possibility of being bumped by a full-time instructor
  • The history of the class making or not making
  • Failure to put the adjunct’s name in the course schedule
  • The absence of a contract (this particularly applies to CLC as we get “offers” and a “notice of assignment” rather than a contract).

What This Means

  • CLC-AFO does not mean to imply that you will be eligible get unemployment between semesters.
  • What is said is that the barriers to getting unemployment have been eased and the criteria for getting unemployment has changed for adjuncts.
  • This is a great benefit for adjunct that find themselves in a financial tight situation between semesters.

Important Links


If you are considering applying for unemployment compensation, please read the three (3) links below for more information, the paper called Summary of New Department of Labor Directive on Adjunct unemployment” is particularly helpful

  • Summary of New Department of Labor Directive on Adjunct Unemployment
  • Federal Unemployment Tax Act: Fact Sheet for adjuncts
  • Unemployment Links