The COVID 19 global pandemic has created challenges for all of us.  While many of us shelter in place, a number of essential employees continue to work during this pandemic.  These essential employees have a significant risk of exposure to the deadly coronavirus. 

The Illinois legislature is taking steps to protect essential workers who develop COVID 19.  Many essential workers diagnosed with COVID 19 will be able to prove their diagnosis is related to an exposure at work.  The worker’s compensation Act defines an employee exposure as any length of time a person is employed in an occupational process in which a hazard of the disease exists. 

Currently, any person diagnosed with COVID 19 is required to self-isolate for 14 days.  During this recovery time, workers will lose wages and incur significant medical expenses.  Though some diagnosed with COVID 19 will make a full recovery, others are left with long-lasting permanent injuries or worse.  Workers who develop COVID 19 due to workplace exposure may be entitled to lost wages, payment of medical benefits and compensation for their permanent injuries. 

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