Archive for the ‘New laws’ Category

Proposed Amendments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act

September 23rd, 2015 at 2:59 pm

workers compensation, proposed amendments, Illinois Workers' Compensation AttorneyThe Illinois General Assembly is set to enter its third month of overtime sessions, and amendments to the state’s Workers Compensation Act are expected to be at the forefront of the legislative agenda. These amendments, if passed, could have a big impact on the eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation.

What Could Change?

One of the proposed amendments will require employees to demonstrate that a workplace incident is a major contributing cause of the injury. In order to satisfy this new standard, the employee will need to prove that the accident was at least 50 percent responsible for his or her injury.

The amendments also would limit the scope of which employees are considered to be “traveling employees.” According to existing Illinois law, you can qualify for workers’ compensation if you are injured while driving to a client site, or when you are travelling while you are still considered to be on the job.

This means you will even be covered under workers’ compensation if you are hurt while going out for dinner after work while on a business trip. Under the proposed amendment, the worker would only classify as a “travelling employee” if the trip was necessary for the performance of his or her job duties.

The proposed changes would also reduce the medical fee schedule by 30 percent for all services except evaluation, management and physical medicine. Finally, the amendments will require the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to make use of the American Medical Association guidelines when evaluating a workers’ injury or disability.

The Illinois General Assembly has still not reached a consensus on the proposed changes, and it is therefore not certain whether the amendments will be introduced.

If you have been injured at work and would like to claim workers’ compensation, contact a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from the Law of Offices of Francis J. Discipio. With more than 20 years of experience, Mr. Discipio can explain how Illinois workers’ comp laws relate to your case. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 630-574-2288.




Ruling Regarding Pot Use and Workers’ Compensation Overturned

September 13th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Ruling Regarding Pot Use and Job Injury Overturned IMAGEWhile workers’ compensation laws vary by state and what happens in one locale may not effect with any great traction the laws in another, a workers’ compensation decision in one state has the potential to set national precedent. Earlier this year the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Board saw a ruling such as this, regarding a man who “suffered an injury to his right shoulder and neck while subduing an unruly, combative juvenile” while working at the Oklahoma County Juvenile Detention Center, according to SafetyNewsAlert.com.

The man, Vincent Hogg, was “given a post-accident drug screen on the day he reported the injury,” and had a follow-up screening the next day. Both of these tests were administered before Hogg reported his on-the-job injury to the Workers’ Compensation Court four days after the incident. Initially, the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court ruled that Hogg had indeed “sustained an injury at work and reported it in a timely fashion,” according to SafetyNewsAlert.com. At that point, according to SafetyNewsAlert, Hogg was well on track to receive compensation benefits.

And then the drug tests came back positive for marijuana. Hogg denied that he had been smoking pot, but stated that he had been around people who were. Despite the fact that the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court “found there was no evidence presented to show Hogg was high on the day he was injured, nor was there any evidence to show the marijuana in his system was the ‘major cause’ of his injury,” the court denied his workers’ compensation benefits anyway. The reason, according to SafetyNewsAlert, was a “newly created Oklahoma workers’ comp law.”

The law, which could find precedence across the country, states that any employee “who tests positive for the presence of … alcohol, illegal drugs, or illegally used chemicals, or refuses to take a drug or alcohol test required by the employer, shall be ineligible for such compensation.” Despite this, Hogg eventually won his case when the Supreme Court of Oklahoma overturned the earlier decision put out by the Workers’ Compensation Court.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job and have questions about what sort of benefits for which you may be eligible, the most important first step is to contact a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney today.

Ruling Regarding Overtime in AWW Overturned

August 28th, 2013 at 2:40 pm

A ruling regarding an Average Weekly Wage (AWW) calculation in Illinois that included overtime was overturned in July, according to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin. The ruling will affect any workers’ compensation claimant who has logged a considerable amount of overtime hours, especially if those hours were not consistent or considered mandatory by the company at which the accident occurred. The case involved a worker at an excavation company. The claimant, according to the Bulletin, is a union machine operator, and suffered an injury related to an on-site accident.  Ruling Regarding Overtime in AWW Overturned IMAGE

The operator, according to the Bulletin, logged overtime hours on 60 days in a 73-day period. That’s more than 80 percent of the days considered by the ruling. Initially, a judge ruled that the operator’s overtime hours should be considered when determining his Average Weekly Wage for workers’ compensation benefits. “Upon review,” however, “the Commission modified the arbitrator’s decision to find the claimant failed to prove that his overtime was mandatory or that he worked overtime on a consistent basis.” Even though the claimant worked overtime more than 80 percent of the days in the period considered, this isn’t considered “consistent.” One good reason that the Commission reversed the ruling was due to a lack of evidence presented on the part of the operator.

The importance of having an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in the courtroom can’t be understated. One reason for the decision reversal was because “the defendant’s witness testified that there was no consequence for not working overtime.” Yet the decision to overturn was not unanimous. “The dissent noted that although the claimant gave a recorded statement to the claims adjuster that overtime was not mandatory he testified that he meant that no one came to employees with a daily demand to work overtime.”

If you or someone you know has been injured in the workplace, the most important first step is to seek the counsel of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney. Don’t go through it alone. Contact our offices today.



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