Bill seeks to limit workers’ compensation

An Illinois state senator has introduced legislation that would alter the state’s workers’ compensation law.

State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) introduced a bill that would require “primary causation,” meaning that a claim would be paid only if a worker’s injury was caused primarily by an on-the-job accident.

Righter said that the more stringent causation standard was necessary in order to create jobs and attract investment. He said that too many businesses were choosing to relocate in neighboring states, in part because of Illinois’ higher premiums for workers’ compensation insurance.

Critics of Righter’s bill point out that it would result in denial of benefits for workers who have preexisting conditions that are aggravated by workplace injuries. This could result in discrimination against older workers, who are more likely to have preexisting conditions.

Righter estimated that requiring primary causation would reduce insurance premiums in the state by $1 billion per year. However, similar estimates were made regarding the 2011 changes to Illinois workers’ compensation law, and employers saw very little reduction in premiums.

Senate Bill 846 would also prevent the payment of temporary partial disability benefits and temporary total disability benefits to workers who are discharged by their employers for cause.

Paul Greenberg is a Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call 1.877.595.4878 or visit