Yesterday morning the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) voted unanimously to repeal the April 16th emergency rule, which declared a First Responder’s or Front-Line Worker’s exposure to COVID-19 the virus would be rebuttably presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment, and that the resulting injury and lost time would be presumed causally connected to the employment. To read more about the April 16th rule, please click here.
Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Madonia granted the temporary restraining order (TRO), which was supported by the ISIA and various industry groups. The TRO came as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), detailed here. The Chairman acknowledged the TRO would cause uncertainty for both workers and employers while the rule worked its way through the courts. He also cited extensive litigation costs as another factor in the Commission’s decision to withdraw the rule. He is creating a task force to review other avenues to address the issue.
Without the evidentiary presumption in place, we will resume analyzing COVID-19 exposure cases under the traditional “arising out of” and “in the course of” framework. To learn more about how to assess exposure and compensability of potential COVID-19 cases, click here. Please contact us to discuss any issues or questions.