Q: “What is the current status of any new workers compensation rules related to employees of essential businesses that contract coronavirus in the workplace?”
May 7, 2020
As we previously reported, in April, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission enacted emergency rules creating a presumption that employees of essential business that contract coronavirus were exposed in the workplace for purposes of workers’ compensation liability.
Business groups immediately challenged the change, and a judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the emergency rules, saying that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission exceeded its authority when it enacted the rules.
Now, the emergency rules have been rescinded, but both Governor Pritzker and the Commission have indicated that they will renew their efforts to ensure that workers’ compensation is available to employees who contract COVID-19.
Employers should continue to follow CDC and OHSA guidance to maintain a safe working environment for all employees or in planning for reopening.
Becky Canary-King is an Associate in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. Joining LP during the onset of the pandemic, she has dedicated her time to keeping up to date on the latest coronavirus-related guidance from federal, state, and local agencies, and advising employers on managing their workforce through the crisis.