April 20, 2020
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) announced that their meeting scheduled for April 21, 2020 has been
. The next regularly scheduled JCAR meeting is May 19, 2020.
As you are aware, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission recently adopted an amended Emergency Rule on April 15, 2020. The rule essentially states any employee of an “essential business” as defined in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order (including construction) is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. This change will make it difficult for employers to defend claims and prove exactly where a worker was infected with the virus.
This Emergency Rule has been filed with the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR). Since this is an Emergency Rule filing,
JCAR does not need to vote to approve these rules. However,
JCAR does have the ability to vote to object or suspend this emergency rule. JCAR is set to meet
Tuesday April 21, 2020. In response,
IMSCA sent a letter ( a version of the “Association or Contractor to JCAR" link below)
to members of JCAR, and other key decision makers in this process including the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission IMSCA believes it is important to point out that the construction industry is a different type of work environment than other types of industries, and a “one size fits all” approach to protecting essential workers is not appropriate. IMSCA members are urged to contact members of JCAR to voice their opinion.
You can click on the link below for a template letter titled, “Association or Contractor to JCAR."
This is a list of JCAR members and their email addresses:
It is important to point out, this sweeping policy change was made outside of the traditional legislative process. As such, there is not a specific bill the construction industry can point to and share its concerns. At some point, we may have the opportunity to express our concerns to the Illinois General Assembly. Please contact your legislator or any legislator you may have a relationship with.
You can click on the link below for the template letter titled, “Association or Contractor to Legislator” for this purpose, but please print this letter on your association/company letterhead - include your name and contact information, and sign and mail the letter. In addition,
you can click another link below for a copy of a position paper on this issue that provides talking points that you can also use to draft your own letter if you prefer. To be clear, there is not currently specific legislation lawmakers are able to take action on. IMSCA's goal is to create awareness of our industry concerns in preparation of the possibility legislative opportunities will present themselves in the future.
In response to the non-traditional method this Emergency Rule was adopted, IMSCA anticipates non-traditional methods will be used in response to this new Rule - this includes lawsuits, of which there is likely to be many. We expect there will be numerous updates and actions over the next several weeks and possibly months. IMSCA / ECA will continue to keep you updated on ways you can make your voice heard on this issue.
Again, IMSCA will offer updated information as it becomes available. If you have any specific questions, you can contact Jessica Newbold Hoselton, Executive Director, Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association (IMSCA) at: (217) 523-4361.