Can the Summer Period Between Academic Terms Be Considered Period of Unemployment ?

In Doran v. Department of Labor, 116 Ill. App. 3d 471, 452 N.E.2d 118, 72 Ill. Dec. 186 (1983), the Court examined whether the 8-week summer period following the end of the 39-week regular term constitutes a period of unemployment for which the Act was intended to supply benefits, or was a period between two successive academic years within the meaning of the Act. The plaintiff in Doran was employed as a teacher at an alternative school for girls by the Board of Education of the City of Chicago. For 10 years, the plaintiff had taught on a 47-week schedule; the regular 39-week year, plus 8 weeks during the summer. In 1980, the plaintiff was told that she would no longer be employed for the eight-week summer session, and she subsequently filed for unemployment benefits for that period. After the claims adjudicator determined that she was not entitled to benefits under section 612 of the Act, the plaintiff filed an application for reconsideration, arguing that the 8-week summer period constituted a portion of her regular 47-week academic term, and was not a period "in between" academic terms. The referee found that during the period in question the plaintiff was a teacher in between academic terms and had a reasonable assurance of returning to work at the start of the successive term. The Board of Review affirmed the referee's decision, and the plaintiff appealed. In examining the school code and academic calender, we found that the "academic term intended by the legislature was the regular term of 39 weeks designated by the school calender," and accordingly found that the summer period was between academic terms, thus making the plaintiff ineligible for unemployment benefits under section 612 of the Act. Doran, 116 Ill. App. 3d at 475-76.