Illinois Workers Compensation Insurance: Non Compliance

I was working with a client and the subject came up on non compliance with the IL statute requiring Workers Compensation.  Here's the scoop:

Insurance Compliance program

Illinois law requires employers to obtain workers' compensation insurance, but a small percentage of employers fail to comply. These employers enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over law-abiding companies, while leaving their employees vulnerable if accidents should occur.

Under Section 4(d), an employer that knowingly and willfully fails to obtain insurance may be fined up to $500 for every day of noncompliance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. Corporate officers can be held personally liable if the company fails to pay the penalty. Since 2006, the Commission has collected over $3 million in fines, while providing workers the proper legal protection and other employers a more fair competitive arena. Fines are deposited into the Injured Workers' Benefit Fund

In addition, corporate officers who are found to have negligently failed to obtain insurance are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor; if they are found to have knowingly failed to obtain insurance, they are guilty of a Class 4 felony.

An employer that knowingly fails to obtain insurance loses its protections under the Workers' Compensation Act.  An employee who is injured during the time the employer was uninsured may sue the employer in civil court, where benefits are unlimited.  In addition, during the trial the burden will be upon the employer to prove it was not negligent. 

The Commission may issue a work-stop order on an employer that has been found to have knowingly failed to provide insurance.  The employer must then stop all business operations until it provides proof of insurance.

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