Illinois Lawmakers Pass Bill That Helps Essential Employees Quickly Receive Workers Compensation After Contracting Virus

Jim Gudas
May 23, 2020 - 11:13 am
(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Illinois lawmakers have made it easier for essential workers such as grocery store and restaurant employees to get unemployment compensation if they can't work after contracting COVID-19.
 
State Representative Karina Villa of Batavia on Friday said the bill is needed because some employers are not taking adequate steps to protect their workers from the virus.
 
As the bill was debated, Villa held up a hair net that she said was the only protection one employer provided a worker.
 
"I hope that our vote reflects a unanimous vote letting those employees that this is absolutely unacceptable for our essential workers," Villa said on the house floor.  
 
The bill allows many essential workers who get sick from COVID-19 to apply for unemployment benefits under the assumption that they caught the virus on the job.
 
Employers would be allowed to contest those claims if they can provide evidence workers caught the virus off the job and that adequate precautions are in place to protect employees from the virus.