UPDATE: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Repeals Emergency Rule Regarding COVID-19 First Responders and Essential Workers

On Monday April 27, 2020, the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission repealed the Emergency Rule providing that if first responders or essential workers are infected with COVID-19, it would be presumed to be a result of their work duties. More specifically, under the emergency rule, it would have been presumed that the exposure to COVID-19 arose out of, and in the course of, the employee’s employment and was causally related to the hazards of the employee’s employment. This presumption would have made it easier for first responders and essential workers in Illinois to obtain worker’s compensation benefits for illness related to COVID-19.

 

This action by the Commission comes after a Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the new rule. The Judge granted the temporary restraining order finding, among other things, that the Commission exceeded its rule making authority as the emergency rule was substantive in nature and the Commission is solely limited to procedural rule making under Illinois law. The Judge’s order resulted from a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association challenging the Commission’s Rule.

Teamsters Local 700 will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they arise.”

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