The Illinois State Legislative is in
session working on a new Bill that would take away the rights and benefits for
an injured worker. If passed, it would
greatly reduce the ability for an injured worker in
compensation, by instituting rules that only benefit the insurance companies.
Again, our policy makers are cutting
deals with one another as they posture to make sure their image is protected. The reason that a new bill for worker's
compensation is even being considered has nothing to do with costs, since
insurance companies currently pay a tax that largely supports the Illinois
Industrial Commission, where cases are tried.
Instead, it is being used as a "political
football" by the Democrats that have voted to increase the State income tax and
want to save face. Our Democratic
leaders are attaching the Worker's Compensation Bill to the Income Tax Bill to
make it look like its bi-partisan decision.
If the proposed bill is passed in its
current form, the ability for injured workers to collect worker's compensation
will be greatly diminished. The lawyers
defending both the company's and the individuals will be put out of business, along
with the doctors treating the injured parties, since the State will dictate
where the injured party will receive treatment.
I have been supplied with a copy of a Bill
1.) Injured worker must treat with the
company chosen doctor;
2.) If an employee files a claim that
the Workers' Compensation Commission considers frivolous, the injured employee
can be hit with the costs and attorney fees of the employer's lawyer;
3.) Any claims for loss of wages will
only last until a specified age;
4.) Any claim for disability will be
based on what is called the American Medical Association Guide to Permanent
Impairment, which would cut the amount presently awarded for injuries by at
least 70 to 85%.
These changes will be supposedly voted
on in the next 10 to 72 hours. The House of Representatives reconvenes at Thursday (
I would urge you to contact the leaders
of the State Senate, John Cullerton, and the Speaker of the House Michael
Madigan and voice opposition to these changes, which could drastically affect employee's
rights under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act. Don't
let the insurance company's, once again; take away your rights, like they did
under President Obama's Healthcare reform.
The passage of the new Worker's
Compensation Bill would be devastating for employees. The word is that Democrat Speaker of the House
Mike Madigan is behind the bill. He can
be contacted at Sullivan@hds.il.ga.gov. Senator Cullerton is also supporting this
Bill and he can be contacted at email@example.com.
You should also contact your own State Senator and State Representative and
voice opposition to these changes.
Your rights as workers are about to be
taken away. The insurance companies are
the only winners, here.