Workers’ compensation reform legislation makes Illinois more competitive

Seeking to help Illinois attract investment, create jobs, and end fraud and abuse, legislation has been filed that would add “primary causation” to Illinois’ workers’ compensation law.

Senate Bill 846 would require an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance to pay a claim only if the employee’s injury was caused primarily by a workplace accident. Under current law, any connection to a workplace accident, regardless of how remote, obliges the workers’ compensation policy to cover 100% of the costs associated with the injury.

Employers have complained that Illinois’ law is a significant financial burden, which makes the state a less desirable place to do business. It is estimated adding “primary causation” to Illinois’ workers’ compensation law would save employers $1 billion per year in reduced insurance premiums.

Causation proponents point to Indiana and Missouri, where premiums are less than half of what employers pay in Illinois. Twenty-nine states have a more stringent causation standard than Illinois.

Chapin Rose

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