Il businesses still worry about workers' compensation insurance rates

Sep 3, 2013

Despite a drop in the rate of workers' compensation insurance, Illinois businesses say the system is still too burdensome. IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports.

Businesses used to be REALLY unhappy with how Illinois required them to handle employee-injury claims. Then, in 2011, Illinois changed its workers' compensation laws.  The state Department of Insurance, the governor and others say  the changes worked: the workers' comp insurance rate is down 4.5 percent.

"This is certainly a step in the right direction."

That's Kim Maisch, a lobbyist representing the state association for small, independent businesses, and as you may have guessed, there's a "but."

"But we need to go a lot faster towards greater reform, and we certainly need to make sure the politicians know the job is not done."

Maisch says there should be more protections for businesses like making workers prove an injury really happened on the job rather than during off hours.

Unions, however, have fought that change, saying a higher burden of proof is unfair to workers.