Heyl Royster

 


Heyl Royster

 

Rebuttable Presumption Now Signed Into Law by Governor Pritzker

5/22/20

As you know, we have been monitoring proposed legislation creating a rebuttable presumption in workers’ compensation cases related to COVID-19 (Click here to read article). Governor Pritzker recently signed House Bill 2455 into law as PA 101-0633 on June 5, 2020.

This rebuttable presumption extends to COVID-19 cases where the employee is a first responder or front-line worker and includes “all individuals employed as police, fire personnel, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics; all individuals employed and considered as first responders; all workers for health care providers, including nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities and home care workers; corrections officers; and any individuals employed by essential businesses and operations.” It will be presumed that the exposure and contraction of COVID-19 arose out of and in the course of their employment. It is important to note that this presumption only applies to COVID-19 cases where the virus was contracted on or after
March 9, 2020 and on or before December 31, 2020.

In defending these claims, evidence of good safety and social distancing practices at work will be important. Additionally, it will be important for employers to investigate potential evidence of exposure to COVID-19 outside of work. Was there an event or exposure to COVID-19 that is a discernible cause of illness? Was the employee exposed at home from a family member? Was the employee exposed at a grocery store? Investigation into an employee’s activities outside of work will be necessary to rebut the presumption of exposure at work. Again, please refer to our Below the Red Line newsletter where this was discussed in great detail (Click here to read article).

Please do not hesitate to reach out to our attorneys with any questions you have regarding this ever changing area of law.