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Emergency Rule to Protect COVID-19 Positive Essential Employees Repealed

In another unprecedented move today, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission repealed the emergency rule amendment entered April 15, 2020. Recall that Governor Pritzker announced the amendment in his daily briefing, indicating that all frontline workers who test positive for COVID-19 would be entitled to a rebuttable presumption that they contracted the virus at work. This would mean that they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for occupational exposure. 

After passing the amendment, business groups filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the rule change and to obtain a temporary restraining order to keep the Commission from enforcing the rule change. The suit was filed by IL Manufacturer’s Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Associations, with the support of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois, and DRI. Last week, a judge granted the temporary restraining order. 

Unfortunately, this morning the Commission repealed the rule, a move that could devastatingly hurt essential workers who are forced to choose between going to work while risking their health and the costs thereof, or choosing to stay home and not receive any income to put food on their tables. Once again, the interests of big insurance companies and employers are being put before the health and welfare of hard-working Americans. 

Don’t be a victim. If you are an essential worker who has had contact with co-workers or the public while working and you contract coronavirus, you are likely still entitled to workers compensation benefits under our current law. Black & Jones Attorneys at Law have the experience and knowledge it will take to prove that you have suffered a work-related injury or exposure. We will fight to get you paid while you are off work, get your medical treatment paid for, and get you compensation for the injury or exposure. Call us today for a free consultation at 815-967-9000.