Employment Law: Workers Compensation Reform 2011 - Is it Beneficial for Business?
Submitted by Scholz, Loos, Palmer, Siebers, and Duesterhaus
Workers Compensation reform legislation was signed into law on June 28, 2011 in Illinois. There was significant political pressure spearheading the process and the end result was a mix of wins and losses for business in Illinois.
In the “win” category are the following changes:
- Changes to the Medical Fee Schedule
- Caps on Repetitive Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
- Reduction in Permanency Value for Repetitive Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Claims
- Limit on Wage Differential Awards
- Intoxication Defense
- Calculation of Temporary Partial Disability Benefits Based upon Gross instead of Net Current Earnings.
In the “loss” category are the following:
- Burden of Proof
- Choice of Doctor Limits.
At this point, who knows about the win or loss status of the newly revised Utilization Review!
There are many other purportedly neutral changes, which may or may not impact business in Illinois. Included in those are significant changes in the appointment, administration and oversight of Arbitrators, Commissioners and Advisory Board members. While the Act’s increases in Fraud Prevention may appear to be a win for business, it is not necessarily going to provide the protection from fraud that is sought. In addition, at this point, it is unclear whether the change to the AMA guidelines as a measure of disability will actually result in a reduction of awards. And, finally, also of interest is the newly enacted Alternative Dispute Resolution Pilot Project.
Please join us on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at the Oakley-Lindsey Center for a free seminar co-sponsored by the Quincy Area Safety Council, Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, the Quincy Area Chapter of SHRM and the Great River Economic Development Foundation to discuss the Illinois Workers Compensation Reform.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Scholz, Loos, Palmer, Siebers & Duesterhaus LLP (“SLPSD”) Employment/Labor Law Group specializes in employer representation. We have over 50 years of combined experience in this area. We deal with general state and federal employment and labor laws, including FLSA, FMLA, ADA, Wage and Hour, and general personnel issues, including discharge, discipline, union negotiations and grievances. We also handle independent internal investigations, compliance with state and federal laws, and have experience in representing management in mediations and arbitrations. The Group consists of James L. Palmer, Joseph A. Duesterhaus and Jennifer A. Winking. Please refer to our website at www.slpsd.com for detailed biographies of each attorney. SLPSD Employment/Labor Law Group is ready, willing and able to handle your business needs.