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Synopsis: Madigan Quits!!!! What Does It Mean for IL Work Comp and Illinois Government?   Editor’s comment: Starting in November 1970 and continuing to the end of this month, Illinois voters have seen the longest tenured state legislative leader in U.S. history in the person of Michael J. Madigan. He has had an interesting and bittersweet run. I can’t stop giggling about his statement that he “dedicated [himself] to democracy.” What an absolute hoot!—in my view the State of Illinois under Madigan has become the “least democratic” State in the history of States.   What Does Madigan’s Departure Mean to…
Synopsis: Mandating vaccinations in the workplace? Surprising Guidance from EEOC… But Do You Want to Step in that Bear Trap? Thoughts and Opinions by John P. Campbell.   Editor’s Comment: As U.S. employers struggle to get their mind around the “rebuttable presumption” of workplace Covid-19 exposure, a new host of questions are emerging with the arrival of vaccinations.   With most front line workers and many elderly nursing home folks now vaccinated, the roll-out of vaccinations to the greater American workforce is afoot. Naturally, we are getting questions from clients and insurers:   Should we as employers mandate vaccinations for…
Synopsis: Causal Connection and Utilization Review—IL WC’s Best Remaining Defense Tools.   Editor’s comment: With the issuance of the IL Supreme Court’s ruling in McAllister v. IWCC, the playing field in IL WC has changed. For the first time in Illinois history, actions of daily life may now be termed work-related “accidents.” We feel there are some instances where something might go wrong at work where an Arbitrator and Commission panel will deny claims based on an accident dispute. But to the extent standing up and sitting down and bending over are now potentially “accidents,” that defense is greatly limited.…
Synopsis: Our Illinois General Assembly extends rebuttable presumption of workplace exposure; from John P. Campbell, Jr., J.D.   Editor’s Comment: In our recent KCBA update, we noted our IL Governor briefly extended the Emergency Proclamation through January 10th and may do so again until the vaccine(s) stem the tide of Covid-19 infections. In similar fashion, we predicted our IL State Legislature would also extend the rebuttable presumption of work-related infection for First Responders and “essential workers” beyond the original December 31, 2020 deadline in the original Statute.   If we could only predict the outcome of this weekend’s NFL playoffs…
Synopsis: The Great Pandemic of 2020 Continues. Update on IL WC Rebuttable Presumption for First Responders from John P. Campbell, Jr., J.D.   Editor’s Comment: Our IL Governor briefly extended the Emergency Proclamation through January 10th and may do so again until the vaccine(s) stem the tide of Covid-19 infections. The question for Workers’ Compensation observers is whether the rebuttable presumption of work-related infection carries into the new year.   Our research came across an updated Corona Virus Disaster Proclamation dated 12/11/20; according to the proclamation, it is to be in effect for 30 days or through January 10th. We…
Synopsis: PART TWO–Trying to Make Sense of Covid-19 Vaccinations—Ending the Great Pandemic of 2020. Last Blog of 2020!!!   Editor’s comment: More Simple Common Sense Thoughts From Gene Keefe for U.S. Risk/HR managers, claims handlers and all our readers of the KCB&A Update.   Please note Dr. Fauci and everyone in the world of “pandemic-a” are sure we can live with masks and gloves and washing our hands for years to come if we don’t buy into the vaccines. There are some folks that I can only characterize as “anti-vaxxers” who are worried if you get a shot, you might…
Synopsis: Trying to Make Sense of Covid-19 Vaccinations—Ending the Great Pandemic of 2020.   Editor’s comment: A Dozen Simple Common Sense Thoughts for U.S. Risk/HR managers, claims handlers and all our readers of the KCB&A Update.   If you get the vaccine, you are going to be immune at a 19 out of 20 rate at least. Thousands of test cases were analyzed and considered. Please expect lots of government officials and other folks in the public eye to get the vaccination. Lots of folks may wait a month to be “safe” and insure they aren’t the first—that is fine but plan…
Synopsis: Three Newsworthy Items for Our WC Readers.   Editor’s comment: I feel the nutty national media is missing a couple of things that WC risk managers, claims handlers and other interest parties should be aware of.   First—The Great Pandemic of 2020 Is Ending Soon!!!   Understanding how much we all like walking into a restaurant or retail outlet to then have to go back and get our masks, I want all my readers to understand, this ongoing financial, social and medical disaster has been solved!!! The doctors, researchers and vaccinologists found the cure. What you and I and…
Synopsis: In IL WC, When is Claimant Entitled to TTD (Temporary Total Disability)?   Editor’s comment: I have had so many WC attorneys and others question this simple concept, I figured it was time to give my readers my best thoughts.   I want to start this article with an example that presumes these claim facts—Claimant suffered an accepted work-related injury. The worker’s claim for WC benefits was accepted by the employer/insurance carrier/TPA. Medical care was provided at the employer’s cost. Lost time benefits, TTD was paid. When can the employer terminate TTD?   Please note there are different factors…
Synopsis: Can Employers Require Workers to Vaccinate? And What Happens If Your Workers Refuse the New Vaccine?   Editors Comment: To my understanding, there are two ways the Great Pandemic of 2020 is going to end—“Herd Immunity” or an effective and new vaccine.   “Herd Immunity” is simple and sporadic—right now, 12,637,714 people have such immunity, as they got the disease and should be immune (or no longer with us—not to be rude), going forward. When enough people have the disease and recover from it they have the antibodies needed to fend off future re-infections; around 12.3M U.S. citizens should…
Synopsis: Biden Wins; Pritzker Loses His Tax Hike; What Does It Mean for Work Comp?   Editor’s comment: I congratulate President-to-be Joseph Biden and forward condolences to the supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump. It is our strong hope our country will continue to thrive and survive. From incoming President Biden, I feel certain we are going to see:   Ramped up efforts to stomp out the Great Pandemic of 2020;   Trillions more in government borrowing for “stimulus” packages to hopefully get us past the economic crisis brought on by the Great Pandemic but continue to steep our country…
Synopsis: Stumbling Along In IL Work Comp—A New Permanency Concept of “Loss of Job???” Thoughts and commentary from Gene Keefe, J.D. Editor’s comment: Probably around a decade ago, someone or three of the IL WC Petitioner’s bar was successful in getting IL Arbitrators to award “loss of trade” to firefighters and police officers who could not longer be in the fire or police department due to a work-related event. To my mind, this was happening as a “going-away-present” as such workers receive line of duty disability pensions that provide lifetime benefits. You may not know but when police/fire officers get…
Synopsis: Here are Three Thoughts From Gene Keefe That All Illinois Risk and Claims Managers Need to Know.   Editor’s comment: I consider this stuff to be fairly important for you to consider.   First, before, during and after the Pandemic, injuries and work-related exposures that occur while working remotely from home are covered by Work Comp or the OD—OccDisease Act.    In Illinois, if and when your workers are hurt while working from home, they are entitled to the benefits and protections of the Illinois Workers’ Comp or OD  Acts.    Illinois law requires an employer pay for all…
Synopsis: Has the IL Supreme Court Ended Accident Defenses in Illinois? Are We Now a “Positional Risk” State? Editor’s comment: Please note Illinois is a one-party State. Republicans don’t have a seat at our State’s table (and may not ever be back). Like Chicago, the only election of note is the Democratic primary. In my view, decisions like this are felt to be “liberal” or pro-labor. I don’t agree with that view. I consider this an “anti-lawyer” ruling, as it is going to render claims that were previously defensible to now be compensable—please trust me, Illinois business/TPA’s and insurance carriers…
Eugene Keefe <EKeefe@keefe-law.com> 9:00 AM (2 hours ago) to Synopsis: Illinois Has Another Awful Anti-Business Law and This Law Can’t Be Blocked by the IL WC Act. Editor’s comment: In McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park LLC, 2020 IL App (1st) 192398 (issued September 18, 2020), the Appellate Court ruled the exclusivity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act do not bar a claim for statutory, liquidated damages, where such damages arise under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act where an employer is alleged to have violated an employee’s statutory privacy rights under the Biometric Information Privacy Act. The court ruled a…
Synopsis: Missing the 800lb. Gorilla—WorkCompCentral Reports City of Chicago WC Committee Saved $1 Million After Ald. Burke Stepped Down—What About the $100M WC Claims Spend? Editor’s comment: All Chicago media outlets are reporting Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s City of Chicago budget is expected to have a $2 billion deficit in the next 24 months. We are fairly sure it is going to be virtually impossible to make up that deficit and keep the “Second City” running in the fashion that has driven it into this whirlpool of skyrocketing debt. Municipal Bankruptcy and unpaid bills loom—hello Detroit. In the past, I have…