(820 ILCS 310/1)
(from Ch. 48, par. 172.36)
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the
Occupational Diseases Act".
(a) The term "employer" as used in this Act shall be construed to
1. The State and each county, city, town, township,
incorporated village, school district, body politic, or municipal corporation therein.
2. Every person, firm, public or private
corporation, including hospitals, public service, eleemosynary, religious or charitable corporations or associations, who has any person in service or under any contract for hire, express or implied, oral or written.
3. Where an employer operating under and subject to
the provisions of this Act loans an employee to another such employer and such loaned employee sustains a compensable occupational disease in the employment of such borrowing employer and where such borrowing employer does not provide or pay the benefits or payments due such employee, such loaning employer shall be liable to provide or pay all benefits or payments due such employee under this Act and as to such employee the liability of such loaning and borrowing employers shall be joint and several, provided that such loaning employer shall in the absence of agreement to the contrary be entitled to receive from such borrowing employer full reimbursement for all sums paid or incurred pursuant to this paragraph together with reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses in any hearings before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission or in any action to secure such reimbursement. Where any benefit is provided or paid by such loaning employer, the employee shall have the duty of rendering reasonable co-operation in any hearings, trials or proceedings in the case, including such proceedings for reimbursement.
Where an employee files an Application for Adjustment
of Claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission alleging that his or her claim is covered by the provisions of the preceding paragraph, and joining both the alleged loaning and borrowing employers, they and each of them, upon written demand by the employee and within 7 days after receipt of such demand, shall have the duty of filing with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission a written admission or denial of the allegation that the claim is covered by the provisions of the preceding paragraph and in default of such filing or if any such denial be ultimately determined not to have been bona fide then the provisions of Paragraph K of Section 19 of this Act shall apply.
An employer whose business or enterprise or a
substantial part thereof consists of hiring, procuring or furnishing employees to or for other employers operating under and subject to the provisions of this Act for the performance of the work of such other employers and who pays such employees their salary or wage notwithstanding that they are doing the work of such other employers shall be deemed a loaning employer within the meaning and provisions of this Section.
(b) The term "employee" as used in this Act, shall be construed to
1. Every person in the service of the State, county,
city, town, township, incorporated village or school district, body politic or municipal corporation therein, whether by election, appointment or contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, including any official of the State, or of any county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation therein and except any duly appointed member of the fire department in any city whose population exceeds 500,000 according to the last Federal or State census, and except any member of a fire insurance patrol maintained by a board of underwriters in this State. One employed by a contractor who has contracted with the State, or a county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation therein, through its representatives, shall not be considered as an employee of the State, county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation which made the contract.
2. Every person in the service of another under any
contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, who contracts an occupational disease while working in the State of Illinois, or who contracts an occupational disease while working outside of the State of Illinois but where the contract of hire is made within the State of Illinois, and any person whose employment is principally localized within the State of Illinois, regardless of the place where the disease was contracted or place where the contract of hire was made, including aliens, and minors who, for the purpose of this Act, except Section 3 hereof, shall be considered the same and have the same power to contract, receive payments and give quittances therefor, as adult employees. An employee or his or her dependents under this Act who shall have a cause of action by reason of an occupational disease, disablement or death arising out of and in the course of his or her employment may elect or pursue his or her remedy in the State where the disease was contracted, or in the State where the contract of hire is made, or in the State where the employment is principally localized.
(c) "Commission" means the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission created by the
Workers' Compensation Act, approved July 9, 1951, as amended.
(d) In this Act the term "Occupational Disease" means a disease
arising out of and in the course of the employment or which has become
aggravated and rendered disabling as a result of the exposure of the
employment. Such aggravation shall arise out of a risk peculiar to or
increased by the employment and not common to the general public.
A disease shall be deemed to arise out of the employment if there is
apparent to the rational mind, upon consideration of all the
circumstances, a causal connection between the conditions under which
the work is performed and the occupational disease. The disease need not
to have been foreseen or expected but after its contraction it must
appear to have had its origin or aggravation in a risk connected with
the employment and to have flowed from that source as a rational
An employee shall be conclusively deemed to have been exposed to the
hazards of an occupational disease when, for any length of time however
short, he or she is employed in an occupation or process in which the
hazard of the disease exists; provided however, that in a claim of
exposure to atomic radiation, the fact of such exposure must be verified
by the records of the central registry of radiation exposure maintained
by the Department of Public Health or by some other recognized
governmental agency maintaining records of such exposures whenever and
to the extent that the records are on file with the Department of Public
Health or the agency.
Any injury to or disease or death of an employee arising from the administration of a vaccine, including without limitation smallpox vaccine, to prepare for, or as a response to, a threatened or potential bioterrorist incident to the employee as part of a voluntary inoculation program in connection with the person's employment or in connection with any governmental program or recommendation for the inoculation of workers in the employee's occupation, geographical area, or other category that includes the employee is deemed to arise out of and in the course of the employment for all purposes under this Act. This paragraph added by Public Act 93-829 is declarative of existing law and is not a new enactment.
The employer liable for the compensation in this Act provided shall
be the employer in whose employment the employee was last exposed to the
hazard of the occupational disease claimed upon regardless of the length
of time of such last exposure, except, in cases of silicosis or
asbestosis, the only employer liable shall be the last employer in whose
employment the employee was last exposed during a period of 60 days or
more after the effective date of this Act, to the hazard of such
occupational disease, and, in such cases, an exposure during a period of
less than 60 days, after the effective date of this Act, shall not be
deemed a last exposure. If a miner who is suffering or suffered from
pneumoconiosis was employed for 10 years or more in one or more coal
mines there shall, effective July 1, 1973 be a rebuttable presumption
that his or her pneumoconiosis arose out of such employment.
If a deceased miner was employed for 10 years or more in one or more
coal mines and died from a respirable disease there shall, effective
July 1, 1973, be a rebuttable presumption that his or her death was due
Any condition or impairment of health of an employee employed as a
firefighter, emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic which results
directly or indirectly from any bloodborne pathogen, lung or respiratory
or vascular disease or condition, hypertension, tuberculosis, or cancer
in any disability (temporary, permanent, total, or partial) to the employee
shall be rebuttably presumed to arise out of and in the course of the
employee's firefighting, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic employment and, further, shall be
rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of
the employment. This presumption shall also apply to any hernia or hearing
loss suffered by an employee employed as a firefighter, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic.
However, this presumption shall not apply to any employee who has been employed
as a firefighter, EMT, EMT-I, A-EMT, or paramedic for less than 5 years at the time he or she files an Application for Adjustment of Claim concerning this condition or impairment with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. The rebuttable presumption established under this subsection, however, does not apply to an emergency medical technician (EMT), emergency medical technician-intermediate (EMT-I), advanced emergency medical technician (A-EMT), or paramedic employed by a private employer if the employee spends the preponderance of his or her work time for that employer engaged in medical transfers between medical care facilities or non-emergency medical transfers to or from medical care facilities. The changes made to this subsection by this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly shall be narrowly construed. The Finding and Decision of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission under only the rebuttable presumption provision of this paragraph shall not be admissible or be deemed res judicata in any disability claim under the Illinois Pension Code arising out of the same medical condition; however, this sentence makes no change to the law set forth in Krohe v. City of Bloomington, 204 Ill.2d 392.
The insurance carrier liable shall be the carrier whose policy was in
effect covering the employer liable on the last day of the exposure
rendering such employer liable in accordance with the provisions of this
(e) "Disablement" means an impairment or partial impairment,
temporary or permanent, in the function of the body or any of the
members of the body, or the event of becoming disabled from earning full
wages at the work in which the employee was engaged when last exposed to
the hazards of the occupational disease by the employer from whom he or
she claims compensation, or equal wages in other suitable employment;
and "disability" means the state of being so incapacitated.
(f) No compensation shall be payable for or on account of any
occupational disease unless disablement, as herein defined, occurs
within two years after the last day of the last exposure to the hazards
of the disease, except in cases of occupational disease caused by
berylliosis or by the inhalation of silica dust or asbestos dust and, in
such cases, within 3 years after the last day of the last exposure to
the hazards of such disease and except in the case of occupational
disease caused by exposure to radiological materials or equipment, and
in such case, within 25 years after the last day of last exposure to the
hazards of such disease.
(g)(1) In any proceeding before the Commission in which the employee is a COVID-19 first responder or front-line worker as defined in this subsection, if the employee's injury or occupational disease resulted from exposure to and contraction of COVID-19, the exposure and contraction shall be rebuttably presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the employee's first responder or front-line worker employment and the injury or occupational disease shall be rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the employee's first responder or front-line worker employment.
(2) The term "COVID-19 first responder or front-line worker" means: 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 as defined in Executive Order 2020-10 dated March 20, 2020, as long as individuals employed by essential businesses and operations are required by their employment to encounter members of the general public or to work in employment locations of more than 15 employees. For purposes of this subsection only, an employee's home or place of residence is not a place of employment, except for home care workers.
(3) The presumption created in this subsection may be rebutted by evidence, including, but not limited to, the following:
(A) the employee was working from his or her home,
on leave from his or her employment, or some combination thereof, for a period of 14 or more consecutive days immediately prior to the employee's injury, occupational disease, or period of incapacity resulted from exposure to COVID-19; or
(B) the employer was engaging in and applying to
the fullest extent possible or enforcing to the best of its ability industry-specific workplace sanitation, social distancing, and health and safety practices based on updated guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Illinois Department of Public Health or was using a combination of administrative controls, engineering controls, or personal protective equipment to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to all employees for at least 14 consecutive days prior to the employee's injury, occupational disease, or period of incapacity resulting from exposure to COVID-19. For purposes of this subsection, "updated" means the guidance in effect at least 14 days prior to the COVID-19 diagnosis. For purposes of this subsection, "personal protective equipment" means industry-specific equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause illnesses or serious injuries, which may result from contact with biological, chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. "Personal protective equipment" includes, but is not limited to, items such as face coverings, gloves, safety glasses, safety face shields, barriers, shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, coveralls, vests, and full body suits; or
(C) the employee was exposed to COVID-19 by an
(4) The rebuttable presumption created in this subsection applies to all cases tried after June 5, 2020 (the effective date of Public Act 101-633) and in which the diagnosis of COVID-19 was made on or after March 9, 2020 and on or before June 30, 2021 (including the period between December 31, 2020 and the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly).
(5) Under no circumstances shall any COVID-19 case increase or affect any employer's workers' compensation insurance experience rating or modification, but COVID-19 costs may be included in determining overall State loss costs.
(6) In order for the presumption created in this subsection to apply at trial, for COVID-19 diagnoses occurring on or before June 15, 2020, an employee must provide a confirmed medical diagnosis by a licensed medical practitioner or a positive laboratory test for COVID-19 or for COVID-19 antibodies; for COVID-19 diagnoses occurring after June 15, 2020, an employee must provide a positive laboratory test for COVID-19 or for COVID-19 antibodies.
(7) The presumption created in this subsection does not apply if the employee's place of employment was solely the employee's home or residence for a period of 14 or more consecutive days immediately prior to the employee's injury, occupational disease, or period of incapacity resulted from exposure to COVID-19.
(8) The date of injury or the beginning of the employee's occupational disease or period of disability is either the date that the employee was unable to work due to contraction of COVID-19 or was unable to work due to symptoms that were later diagnosed as COVID-19, whichever came first.
(9) An employee who contracts COVID-19, but fails to establish the rebuttable presumption is not precluded from filing for compensation under this Act or under the Workers' Compensation Act.
(10) To qualify for temporary total disability benefits under the presumption created in this subsection, the employee must be certified for or recertified for temporary disability.
(11) An employer is entitled to a credit against any liability for temporary total disability due to an employee as a result of the employee contracting COVID-19 for (A) any sick leave benefits or extended salary benefits paid to the employee by the employer under Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act, Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or any other federal law, or (B) any other credit to which an employer is entitled under the Workers' Compensation Act.
(Source: P.A. 101-633, eff. 6-5-20; 101-653, eff. 2-28-21.)