Yingling-Backed Measure Expanding Workers’ Compensation Signed Into Law

06/19/2020
ROUND LAKE BEACH, Ill. – A new, bipartisan law supported by state Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, will expand workers’ compensation benefits to include first responders, health care workers, nursing home employees and other essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The state must work to provide the resources and compensation that our essential workers truly deserve,” said Yingling. “The safety of first responders and other essential workers must be a top priority during these unprecedented times.”

Yingling backed House Bill 2455, which expands workers compensation benefits for first responders who have lost their lives while fighting COVID-19 and requires employers to provide workers’ compensation relief to all essential workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job. Additionally, the legislation adapts the unemployment insurance program to allow the state to access up to $3 billion in federal CARES act funding.

To create additional workplace protections, Yingling also voted for Senate Bill 471, which increases penalties for individuals who attack essential workers while they are on the job by reclassifying the physical attacks as aggravated battery. The measure works in tandem with House Bill 2455 to expand eligibility for unemployment benefits for laid off and furloughed workers to recoup a larger percentage of their previous income. Yingling has fought for residents to receive appropriate unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is committed to finding ways to stimulate the economy.

“The brave workers putting their lives in danger every day are catching this disease, and we have to do more to support them,” Yingling continued. “I am glad that our governor has recognized the intrinsic value of our first responders and other health care workers who risk additional exposure to this virus as they protect us day after day.”