Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Supports Workers’ Compensation Changes
New rules reached through agreed bill process, gives employers ability to defend against claims
SPRINGFIELD– The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) released the following statement regarding HB 2455, which contains changes to the state’s workers’ compensation system in response to the coronavirus pandemic:
“Manufacturers are first and foremost concerned about the health and safety of their employees, customers, and communities. Today’s agreement strikes a fair balance, allowing employers to defend themselves using an ordinary standard of evidence,” said Mark Denzler, president & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Illinois businesses can rebut the presumption simply by showing “some evidence” that they complied with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control or Illinois Department of Public Health. It makes clear that a person’s residence is not considered a workplace and an employer’s experience modification will not change due to COVID-19 cases.”
The legislation represents an agreement between business groups, led by IMA and including the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), and organized labor. It comes nearly a month after the IMA and IRMA filed a lawsuit that blocked emergency rules put in place by Gov. JB Pritzker’s Administration that would have required employers to pay workers’ compensation benefits if an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19 without proof the illness was contracted at the workplace. Those rules, which were later withdrawn, would have made it nearly impossible for an employer to defend their business. It was estimated those rules would have cost employers nearly $4.4 billion, more than doubling the cost of the system at a time when many businesses are struggling to stay open and retain workers.
About the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA)
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association is the only statewide association dedicated exclusively to advocating, promoting and strengthening the manufacturing sector in Illinois. The IMA is the oldest and largest state manufacturing trade association in the United States, representing nearly 4,000 companies and facilities. For more information, please visit http://ima-net.org/.
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