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IMA and IRMA Applaud Repeal of Workers’ Compensation Rule Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2020

IMA and IRMA Applaud Repeal of Workers’ Compensation Rule Change

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission today formally repealed an emergency rule which created a presumption that the workplace was the cause of a COVID-19 infection.

This action came after the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) and Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two dozen business organizations challenging the rule, in which a Sangamon County judge granted a Temporary Restraining Order. Attorneys Scott Cruz, Thad Felton and Kevin Hormuth with the law firm Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. represented the the IMA and IRMA.

The following statement can be attributed to Mark Denzler, president and CEO, IMA, and Rob Karr, president and CEO, IRMA:

“Retailers and manufacturers are concerned about the health and safety of their employees, customers, and communities. This case was first and foremost about the rule of law and we appreciate the court ruling in Sangamon County and subsequent repeal of the emergency rule by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. It was clearly an overreach and inconsistent with the traditional rule making process. If left unchecked, this rule would have subject Illinois businesses to billions of dollars in added costs at a time when many are struggling to make payroll and retain employees. Our members employ the largest number of workers in Illinois, represent the largest sales tax revenue generator for the state, and contribute the single largest share of the state’s Gross Domestic Product.”

Attorney Scott Cruz added: “We are happy for IRMA’s and IMA’s members, that the Sangamon County Circuit Court took swift – and proper – action in granting our TRO last week to enjoin the Amendments from taking effect, and we appreciate the Commission’s decision today to repeal the Amendments. At its core, this case was based on the Commission far exceeding its rulemaking authority. The substantive law of Illinois, and the wisdom of implementing it, is for the legislature, after proper discourse, and not the whim of the Commission.”

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