Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Illinois Law on Section 1-3 of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act
Sec. 1. This Act may be cited as the Workers' Compensation Act.
(a) The term "employer" as used in this Act means:
- The State and each county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic, or municipal corporation therein.
- Every person, firm, public or private corporation, including hospitals, public service, eleemosynary, religious or charitable corporations or associations who has any person in service or under any contract for hire, express or implied, oral or written, and who is engaged in any of the enterprises or businesses enumerated in Section 3 of this Act, or who at or prior to the time of the accident to the employee for which compensation under this Act may be claimed, has in the manner provided in this Act elected to become subject to the provisions of this Act, and who has not, prior to such accident, effected a withdrawal of such election in the manner provided in this Act.
- Any one engaging in any business or enterprise referred to in subsections 1 and 2 of Section 3 of this Act who undertakes to do any work enumerated therein, is liable to pay compensation to his own immediate employees in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and in addition thereto if he directly or indirectly engages any contractor whether principal or sub contractor to do any such work, he is liable to pay compensation to the employees of any such contractor or sub contractor unless such contractor or sub contractor has insured, in any company or association authorized under the laws of this State to insure the liability to pay compensation under this Act, or guaranteed his liability to pay such compensation. With respect to any time limitation on the filing of claims provided by this Act, the timely filing of a claim against a contractor or subcontractor, as the case may be, shall be deemed to be a timely filing with respect to all persons upon whom liability is imposed by this paragraph.
In the event any such person pays compensation under this subsection he may recover the amount thereof from the contractor or sub contractor, if any, and in the event the contractor pays compensation under this subsection he may recover the amount thereof from the sub contractor, if any. This subsection does not apply in any case where the accident occurs elsewhere than on, in or about the immediate premises on which the principal has contracted that the work be done.
- Where an employer operating under and subject to the provisions of this Act loans an employee to another such employer and such loaned employee sustains a compensable accidental injury in the employment of such borrowing employer and where such borrowing employer does not provide or pay the benefits or payments due such injured employee, such loaning employer is liable to provide or pay all benefits or payments due such employee under this Act and as to such employee the liability of such loaning and borrowing employers is joint and several, provided that such loaning employer is in the absence of agreement to the contrary entitled to receive from such borrowing employer full reimbursement for all sums paid or incurred pursuant to this paragraph together with reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses in any hearings before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission or in any action to secure such reimbursement. Where any benefit is provided or paid by such loaning employer the employee has the duty of rendering reasonable cooperation in any hearings, trials or proceedings in the case, including such proceedings for reimbursement.
Where an employee files an Application for Adjustment of Claim with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission alleging that his claim is covered by the provisions of the preceding paragraph, and joining both the alleged loaning and borrowing employers, they and each of them, upon written demand by the employee and within 7 days after receipt of such demand, shall have the duty of filing with the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission a written admission or denial of the allegation that the claim is covered by the provisions of the preceding paragraph and in default of such filing or if any such denial be ultimately determined not to have been bona fide then the provisions of Paragraph K of Section 19 of this Act shall apply.
An employer whose business or enterprise or a substantial part thereof consists of hiring, procuring or furnishing employees to or for other employers operating under and subject to the provisions of this Act for the performance of the work of such other employers and who pays such employees their salary or wages notwithstanding that they are doing the work of such other employers shall be deemed a loaning employer within the meaning and provisions of this Section.
(b) The term "employee" as used in this Act means:
- Every person in the service of the State, including members of the General Assembly, members of the Commerce Commission, members of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, and all persons in the service of the University of Illinois, county, including deputy sheriffs and assistant state's attorneys, city, town, township, incorporated village or school district, body politic, or municipal corporation therein, whether by election, under appointment or contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, including all members of the Illinois National Guard while on active duty in the service of the State, and all probation personnel of the Juvenile Court appointed pursuant to Article VI of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, and including any official of the State, any county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation therein except any duly appointed member of a police department in any city whose population exceeds 200,000 according to the last Federal or State census, and except any member of a fire insurance patrol maintained by a board of underwriters in this State. A duly appointed member of a fire department in any city, the population of which exceeds 200,000 according to the last federal or State census, is an employee under this Act only with respect to claims brought under paragraph (c) of Section 8.
- Every person in the service of another under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, including persons whose employment is outside of the State of Illinois where the contract of hire is made within the State of Illinois, persons whose employment results in fatal or non fatal injuries within the State of Illinois where the contract of hire is made outside of the State of Illinois, and persons whose employment is principally localized within the State of Illinois, regardless of the place of the accident or the place where the contract of hire was made, and including aliens, and minors who, for the purpose of this Act are considered the same and have the same power to contract, receive payments and give quittances therefore, as adult employees.
- Every sole proprietor and every partner of a business may elect to be covered by this Act. An employee or his dependents under this Act who shall have a cause of action by reason of any injury, disablement or death arising out of and in the course of his employment may elect to pursue his remedy in the State where injured or disabled, or in the State where the contract of hire is made, or in the State where the employment is principally localized.
However, any employer may elect to provide and pay compensation to any employee other than those engaged in the usual course of the trade, business, profession or occupation of the employer by complying with Sections 2 and 4 of this Act. Employees are not included within the provisions of this Act when excluded by the laws of the United States relating to liability of employers to their employees for personal injuries where such laws are held to be exclusive.
The term "employee" does not include persons performing services as real estate broker, broker‑salesman, or salesman when such persons are paid by commission only.
One employed by a contractor who has contracted with the State, or a county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation therein, through its representatives, is not considered as an employee of the State, county, city, town, township, incorporated village, school district, body politic or municipal corporation which made the contract.
(c) "Commission" means the Industrial Commission created by Section 5 of "The Civil Administrative Code of Illinois", approved March 7, 1917, as amended, or the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission created by Section 13 of this Act.
(d) To obtain compensation under this Act, an employee bears the burden of showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he or she has sustained accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of the employment.
(820 ILCS 305/1.1)
Sec. 1.1. Standards of conduct.
(a) Commissioners and arbitrators shall dispose of all Workers' Compensation matters promptly, officially and fairly, without bias or prejudice. Commissioners and arbitrators shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence in it. They shall be unswayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism. Commissioners and arbitrators shall take appropriate action or initiate appropriate disciplinary measures against a Commissioner, arbitrator, lawyer, or others for unprofessional conduct of which the Commissioner or arbitrator may become aware.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct as adopted by the Supreme Court of Illinois govern the hearing and non‑hearing conduct of members of the Commission and arbitrators under this Act. The Commission may set additional rules and standards, not less stringent than those rules and standards established by the Code of Judicial Conduct, for the conduct of arbitrators.
(c) The following provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct do not apply under this Section:
- Canon 3(B), relating to administrative responsibilities of Judges.
- Canon 6(C), relating to annual filings of economic interests. Instead of filing declarations of economic interests with the Clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 68, members of the Commission and arbitrators shall make filings substantially similar to those required by Rule 68 with the Chairman, and such filings shall be made available for examination by the public.
(d) An arbitrator or a Commissioner may accept an uncompensated appointment to a governmental committee, commission or other position that is concerned with issues of policy on matters which may come before the arbitrator or Commissioner if such appointment neither affects his or her independent professional judgment nor the conduct of his or her duties.
(e) Decisions of an arbitrator or a Commissioner shall be based exclusively on evidence in the record of the proceeding and material that has been officially noticed. Any findings of fact made by the arbitrator based on inquiries, investigations, examinations, or inspections undertaken by the arbitrator shall be entered into the record of the proceeding.
(f) Nothing in this Section shall prohibit an arbitrator from holding a pre-trial conference in accordance with the rules of the Commission.
(Source: P.A. 97-18, eff. 6-28-11.)
(820 ILCS 305/2) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.2)
Sec. 2. An employer in this State, who does not come within the classes enumerated by Section 3 of this Act, may elect to provide and pay compensation for accidental injuries sustained by himself or any employee, arising out of and in the course of the employment according to the provisions of this Act, and thereby relieve himself from any liability for the recovery of damages, except as herein provided. The State of Illinois hereby elects to provide and pay compensation according to the provisions of this Act.
(a) Election by any employer to provide and pay compensation according to the provisions of this Act shall be made by the employer filing notice of such election with the Commission, or by insuring his liability to pay compensation under this Act in some insurance carrier authorized, licensed or permitted to do such insurance business in this State.
(b) Every employer within the provisions of this Act who has elected to provide and pay compensation according to the provisions of this Act by filing notice of such election with the Commission, shall be bound thereby as to all his employees until January 1st of the next succeeding year and for terms of each year thereafter.
Any such employer who may have once elected, may elect not to provide and pay the compensation herein provided for accidents resulting in either injury or death and occurring after the expiration of any such calendar year by filing notice of such election with the Commission at least 60 days prior to the expiration of any such calendar year, and by posting such notice at a conspicuous place in the plant, shop, office, room or place where such employee is employed, or by personal service, in written or printed form, upon such employees, at least 60 days prior to the expiration of any such calendar year.
Every employer within the provisions of this Act who has elected to provide and pay compensation according to the provisions of this Act by insuring his liability to pay compensation under this Act, as above provided, shall be bound thereby as to all his employees until the date of expiration or cancellation of such policy of insurance, or any renewal thereof.
(c) In the event any employer mentioned in this section, elects to provide and pay the compensation provided in this Act, then every employee of such employer, as a part of his contract of hiring or who may be employed at the time of the taking effect of this Act and the acceptance of its provisions by such employer, shall be deemed to have accepted all the provisions of this Act and shall be bound thereby unless within 30 days after such hiring or after the taking effect of this Act, and its acceptance by such employee, he shall file a notice to the contrary with the Commission, whose duty it shall be to immediately notify the employer, and until such notice to the contrary is given to the employer, the measure of liability of such employer shall be determined according to the compensation provisions of this Act.
However, any employee may withdraw from the operation of this Act, except those under Section 3, upon filing a written notice of withdrawal at least 10 days prior to January 1st of any year with the Commission, whose duty it shall be to immediately notify such employer by registered mail, and, until such notice to the contrary is given to such employer, the measure of liability of such employer shall be determined according to the compensation provisions of this Act.
(d) Any such employer or employee may, without prejudice to any existing right or claim withdraw his election to reject this Act by giving 30 days' written notice in such manner and form as may be provided by the Commission.
(Source: P.A. 83 190.)
(820 ILCS 305/3) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.3)
Sec. 3. The provisions of this Act hereinafter following shall apply automatically and without election to the State, county, city, town, township, incorporated village or school district, body politic or municipal corporation, and to all employers and all their employees, engaged in any department of the following enterprises or businesses which are declared to be extra hazardous, namely:
- The erection, maintaining, removing, remodeling, altering or demolishing of any structure.
- Construction, excavating or electrical work.
- Carriage by land, water or aerial service and loading or unloading in connection therewith, including the distribution of any commodity by horsedrawn or motor vehicle where the employer employs more than 2 employees in the enterprise or business.
- The operation of any warehouse or general or terminal storehouses.
- Mining, surface mining or quarrying.
- Any enterprise in which explosive materials are manufactured, handled or used in dangerous quantities.
- In any business or enterprise, wherein molten metal, or explosive or injurious gases, dusts or vapors, or inflammable vapors, dusts or fluids, corrosive acids, or atomic radiation are manufactured, used, generated, stored or conveyed.
- Any enterprise in which sharp edged cutting tools, grinders or implements are used, including all enterprises which buy, sell or handle junk and salvage, demolish or reconstruct machinery.
- In any enterprise in which statutory or municipal ordinance regulations are now or shall hereafter be imposed for the regulating, guarding, use or the placing of machinery or appliances or for the protection and safeguarding of the employees or the public therein; each of which occupations, enterprises or businesses are hereby declared to be extra hazardous.
- Any enterprise, business or work in connection with the laying out or improvement of subdivisions of tracts of land.
- Any enterprise for the treatment of cross ties, switch ties, telegraph poles, timber or other wood with creosote or other preservatives.
- Establishments open to the general public wherein alcoholic beverages are sold to the general public for consumption on the premises.
- The operation of any public beauty shop wherein chemicals, solutions, or heated instruments or objects are used or applied by any employee in the dressing, treatment or waving of human hair.
- Any business or enterprise serving food to the public for consumption on the premises wherein any employee as a substantial part of the employee's work uses handcutting instruments or slicing machines or other devices for the cutting of meat or other food or wherein any employee is in the hazard of being scalded or burned by hot grease, hot water, hot foods, or other hot fluids, substances or objects.
- Any business or enterprise in which electric, gasoline or other power driven equipment is used in the operation thereof.
- Any business or enterprise in which goods, wares or merchandise are produced, manufactured or fabricated.
- (a) Any business or enterprise in which goods, wares or merchandise are sold or in which services are rendered to the public at large, provided that this paragraph shall not apply to such business or enterprise unless the annual payroll during the year next preceding the date of injury shall be in excess of $1,000.
(b) The corporate officers of any domestic or foreign corporation employed by the corporation may elect to withdraw themselves as individuals from the operation of this Act. Upon an election by the corporate officers to withdraw, written notice shall be provided to the insurance carrier of such election to withdraw, which election shall be effective upon receipt by the insurance carrier of such written notice. A corporate officer who thereafter elects to resume coverage under the Act as an individual shall provide written notice of such election to the insurance carrier which election shall be effective upon receipt by the insurance carrier of such written notice. For the purpose of this paragraph, a "corporate officer" is defined as a bona fide President, Vice President, Secretary or Treasurer of a corporation who voluntarily elects to withdraw.
- On and after July 1, 1980, but not before, any household or residence wherein domestic workers are employed for a total of 40 or more hours per week for a period of 13 or more weeks during a calendar year.
- Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to apply to any agricultural enterprise, including aquaculture, employing less than 400 working days of agricultural or aquacultural labor per quarter during the preceding calendar year, exclusive of working hours of the employer's spouse and other members of his or her immediate family residing with him or her.
- Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to apply to any sole proprietor or partner or member of a limited liability company who elects not to provide and pay compensation for accidental injuries sustained by himself, arising out of and in the course of the employment according to the provisions of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 91 591, eff. 8 14 99.)
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Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois lawyers, to find an attorney or receive guidance for any Illinois legal issue, including Illinois workers' compensation cases. Our founding attorneys are Chicago workers' compensation lawyers, so don’t hesitate to contact us about your work injury. You can call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. All inquiries are confidential. For more about Illinois workers compensation laws, please read the information below that discusses Sections 1-3 of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. If you have any questions, just let us know.