By: Troy Howell
Last week we posted an article on our website and blog reporting on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission enacting an emergency rule that created a rebuttable presumption that Covid-19 is compensable under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act for first responders and front-line workers. As predicted, a legal challenge to the emergency rule was quickly filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association with the Circuit Court in Sangamon County (Springfield), Illinois. On April 24, 2020, the Circuit Court filed a Temporary Restraining Order prohibiting the enforcement of the emergency rule pending further court proceedings. A link to the Court’s Temporary Restraining Order is contained below.
In response to the Court’s Temporary Restraining Order, on April 27, 2020, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission voted unanimously to repeal and withdraw the emergency rule. In a Memorandum to the members of the legal bar and public posted on the Commission’s website, the Commission Chairman stated that in light of the withdrawal of the emergency rule, “a Committee will be formed to examine other possible actions that the Commission may take, in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic and its impact upon the actions of this Commission under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and the Illinois Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.” We will continue to monitor and keep you advised of further developments from the Commission, courts or legislature regarding Covid-19 and workers’ compensation.
Troy practices in Lane & Waterman’s Labor & Employment practice group focusing primarily on the defense of workers’ compensation claims in both Illinois and Iowa.