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820 ILCS 305/14

    (820 ILCS 305/14) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.14)
    Sec. 14. The Commission shall appoint a secretary and an assistant secretary and shall employ such assistants and clerical help as may be necessary. Arbitrators shall be appointed pursuant to this Section, notwithstanding any provision of the Personnel Code.
    Each arbitrator appointed after June 28, 2011 shall be required to demonstrate in writing his or her knowledge of and expertise in the law of and judicial processes of the Workers' Compensation Act and the Workers' Occupational Diseases Act.
    A formal training program for newly-hired arbitrators shall be implemented. The training program shall include the following:
        (a) substantive and procedural aspects of the
arbitrator position;
        (b) current issues in workers' compensation law and
        (c) medical lectures by specialists in areas such as
orthopedics, ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation counseling;
        (d) orientation to each operational unit of the
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission;
        (e) observation of experienced arbitrators conducting
hearings of cases, combined with the opportunity to discuss evidence presented and rulings made;
        (f) the use of hypothetical cases requiring the
trainee to issue judgments as a means to evaluating knowledge and writing ability;
        (g) writing skills;
        (h) professional and ethical standards pursuant to
Section 1.1 of this Act;
        (i) detection of workers' compensation fraud and
reporting obligations of Commission employees and appointees;
        (j) standards of evidence-based medical treatment and
best practices for measuring and improving quality and health care outcomes in the workers' compensation system, including but not limited to the use of the American Medical Association's "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment" and the practice of utilization review; and
        (k) substantive and procedural aspects of coal
workers' pneumoconiosis (black lung) cases.
    A formal and ongoing professional development program including, but not limited to, the above-noted areas shall be implemented to keep arbitrators informed of recent developments and issues and to assist them in maintaining and enhancing their professional competence. Each arbitrator shall complete 20 hours of training in the above-noted areas during every 2 years such arbitrator shall remain in office.
    Each arbitrator shall devote full time to his or her duties and shall serve when assigned as an acting Commissioner when a Commissioner is unavailable in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of this Act. Any arbitrator who is an attorney-at-law shall not engage in the practice of law, nor shall any arbitrator hold any other office or position of profit under the United States or this State or any municipal corporation or political subdivision of this State. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act to the contrary, an arbitrator who serves as an acting Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of this Act shall continue to serve in the capacity of Commissioner until a decision is reached in every case heard by that arbitrator while serving as an acting Commissioner.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, the term of all arbitrators serving on June 28, 2011 (the effective date of Public Act 97-18), including any arbitrators on administrative leave, shall terminate at the close of business on July 1, 2011, but the incumbents shall continue to exercise all of their duties until they are reappointed or their successors are appointed.
    On and after June 28, 2011 (the effective date of Public Act 97-18), arbitrators shall be appointed to 3-year terms as follows:
        (1) All appointments shall be made by the Governor
with the advice and consent of the Senate.
        (2) For their initial appointments, 12 arbitrators
shall be appointed to terms expiring July 1, 2012; 12 arbitrators shall be appointed to terms expiring July 1, 2013; and all additional arbitrators shall be appointed to terms expiring July 1, 2014. Thereafter, all arbitrators shall be appointed to 3-year terms.
    Upon the expiration of a term, the Chairman shall evaluate the performance of the arbitrator and may recommend to the Governor that he or she be reappointed to a second or subsequent term by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.
    Each arbitrator appointed on or after June 28, 2011 (the effective date of Public Act 97-18) and who has not previously served as an arbitrator for the Commission shall be required to be authorized to practice law in this State by the Supreme Court, and to maintain this authorization throughout his or her term of employment.
    The performance of all arbitrators shall be reviewed by the Chairman every other year, or more often at the discretion of the Chairman. The Chairman shall allow input from the Commissioners in all such reviews.
    The Commission shall assign no fewer than 3 arbitrators to each hearing site. The Commission shall establish a procedure to ensure that the arbitrators assigned to each hearing site are assigned cases on a random basis. No arbitrator shall hear cases in any county, other than Cook County, for more than 4 years consecutively.
    The Secretary and each arbitrator shall receive a per annum salary of 5% less than the per annum salary of members of The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission as provided in Section 13 of this Act, payable in equal monthly installments.
    The members of the Commission, Arbitrators and other employees whose duties require them to travel, shall have reimbursed to them their actual traveling expenses and disbursements made or incurred by them in the discharge of their official duties while away from their place of residence in the performance of their duties.
    The Commission shall provide itself with a seal for the authentication of its orders, awards and proceedings upon which shall be inscribed the name of the Commission and the words "Illinois--Seal".
    The Secretary or Assistant Secretary, under the direction of the Commission, shall have charge and custody of the seal of the Commission and also have charge and custody of all records, files, orders, proceedings, decisions, awards and other documents on file with the Commission. He shall furnish certified copies, under the seal of the Commission, of any such records, files, orders, proceedings, decisions, awards and other documents on file with the Commission as may be required. Certified copies so furnished by the Secretary or Assistant Secretary shall be received in evidence before the Commission or any Arbitrator thereof, and in all courts, provided that the original of such certified copy is otherwise competent and admissible in evidence. The Secretary or Assistant Secretary shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Commission.
(Source: P.A. 102-16, eff. 6-17-21; 102-910, eff. 5-27-22.)