IWCC Withdraws COVID-19 Rebuttable Presumption Rule
Following an emergency meeting this morning, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has decided to withdraw its recently adopted Rule which created a rebuttable presumption for employees who are exposed to COVID-19. The Rule had created a great deal of concern among Illinois employers, who faced the difficult burden of proving that an employee’s positive COVID diagnosis was not related to a workplace exposure. The Illinois Manufacturers Association and Retail Merchants Association spearheaded a legal challenge to the Rule, and last week successfully obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of the Rule, pending further hearings. The Commission has opted to rescind the Rule, rather than trying to uphold it in Court. We believe the Commission will re-focus its efforts to create the rebuttable presumption by making substantive changes in the Workers Compensation and Occupational Diseases Acts through the legislative process. The Commission has indicated it will create a committee to consider further action on this issue. We will continue to provide updated information as it is received.