A Sangamon County Judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of emergency worker compensation rules creating an automatic presumption that an employee’s workplace was the cause of COVID-19 cases.
The action is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association. On April 13, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission issued an order that significantly expanded workers compensation coverage for employees who acquire COVID-19.
The emergency rule created a rebuttable presumption for front-line workers who contract COVID-19 and expanded the list of workers covered by that presumption to include workers in nearly every industry still operating under current stay-at-home orders.
The associations argued in their complaint that the emergency rule could add billions of dollars in costs on Illinois employers, and that such a substantive change in the law is required to be enacted by the General Assembly, not through administrative rules.
It appears that state officials have until April 30 to respond to the temporary restraining order. The next hearing in Sangamon County Court will be May 4.