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Commission to pull workers’ compensation rule after court blocks its implementation

Commission to pull workers’ compensation rule after court blocks its implementation

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is set to pull an emergency rule that would allow essential employees, including nurses, first responders and paramedics, to receive workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19.

But Gov. JB Pritzker said this weekend that a similar order could be issued in the future.

Monday’s commission meeting to pull the order comes after a circuit court judge on Friday ruled to temporarily suspend the rule. The ruling came after the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association filed a lawsuit Wednesday to block the rule from being implemented.

The groups argued the rule will add billions of dollars in costs on Illinois employers and that such a change requires legislative action.

Under the rule, announced earlier this month, essential employees who apply for workers’ compensation as a result of contracting COVID-19 will be “rebuttably presumed” to have contracted the virus through their employment.

Pritzker said when the rule was announced that it would protect workers on the front lines of the pandemic. He has declined to comment on the lawsuit but said Saturday that he believes the commission intends to revisit the language and eventually reissue the order.


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