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Illinois Workers' Compensation Legal Library


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(820 ILCS 305/13) (from Ch. 48, par. 138.13)
Sec. 13. There is created an Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission consisting of 10 members to be appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, 3 of whom shall be representative citizens of the employing class operating under this Act and 3 of whom shall be representative citizens of the class of employees covered under this Act, and 4 of whom shall be representative citizens not identified with either the employing or employee classes. Not more than 6 members of the Commission shall be of the same political party.
One of the members not identified with either the employing or employee classes shall be designated by the Governor as Chairman. The Chairman shall be the chief administrative and executive officer of the Commission; and he or she shall have general supervisory authority over all personnel of the Commission, including arbitrators and Commissioners, and the final authority in all administrative matters relating to the Commissioners, including but not limited to the assignment and distribution of cases and assignment of Commissioners to the panels, except in the promulgation of procedural rules and orders under Section 16 and in the determination of cases under this Act.
Notwithstanding the general supervisory authority of the Chairman, each Commissioner, except those assigned to the temporary panel, shall have the authority to hire and supervise 2 staff attorneys each. Such staff attorneys shall report directly to the individual Commissioner.
A formal training program for newly-appointed Commissioners shall be implemented. The training program shall include the following:
(a) substantive and procedural aspects of the office

of Commissioner;
(b) current issues in workers' compensation law and
practice;
(c) medical lectures by specialists in areas such as
orthopedics, ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation counseling;
(d) orientation to each operational unit of the
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission;
(e) observation of experienced arbitrators and
Commissioners conducting hearings of cases, combined with the opportunity to discuss evidence presented and rulings made;
(f) the use of hypothetical cases requiring the
newly-appointed Commissioner to issue judgments as a means to evaluating knowledge and writing ability;
(g) writing skills;
(h) professional and ethical standards pursuant to
Section 1.1 of this Act;
(i) detection of workers' compensation fraud and
reporting obligations of Commission employees and appointees;
(j) standards of evidence-based medical treatment and
best practices for measuring and improving quality and health care outcomes in the workers' compensation system, including but not limited to the use of the American Medical Association's "Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment" and the practice of utilization review; and
(k) substantive and procedural aspects of coal
workers' pneumoconiosis (black lung) cases.
A formal and ongoing professional development program including, but not limited to, the above-noted areas shall be implemented to keep Commissioners informed of recent developments and issues and to assist them in maintaining and enhancing their professional competence. Each Commissioner shall complete 20 hours of training in the above-noted areas during every 2 years such Commissioner shall remain in office.
The Commissioner candidates, other than the Chairman, must meet one of the following qualifications: (a) licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois; or (b) served as an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission for at least 3 years; or (c) has at least 4 years of professional labor relations experience. The Chairman candidate must have public or private sector management and budget experience, as determined by the Governor.
Each Commissioner shall devote full time to his duties and any Commissioner who is an attorney-at-law shall not engage in the practice of law, nor shall any Commissioner hold any other office or position of profit under the United States or this State or any municipal corporation or political subdivision of this State, nor engage in any other business, employment, or vocation.
The term of office of each member of the Commission holding office on the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1989 is abolished, but the incumbents shall continue to exercise all of the powers and be subject to all of the duties of Commissioners until their respective successors are appointed and qualified.
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission shall administer this Act.
In the promulgation of procedural rules, the determination of cases heard en banc, and other matters determined by the full Commission, the Chairman's vote shall break a tie in the event of a tie vote.
The members shall be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, as follows:
(a) After the effective date of this amendatory Act
of 1989, 3 members, at least one of each political party, and one of whom shall be a representative citizen of the employing class operating under this Act, one of whom shall be a representative citizen of the class of employees covered under this Act, and one of whom shall be a representative citizen not identified with either the employing or employee classes, shall be appointed to hold office until the third Monday in January of 1993, and until their successors are appointed and qualified, and 4 members, one of whom shall be a representative citizen of the employing class operating under this Act, one of whom shall be a representative citizen of the class of employees covered in this Act, and two of whom shall be representative citizens not identified with either the employing or employee classes, one of whom shall be designated by the Governor as Chairman (at least one of each of the two major political parties) shall be appointed to hold office until the third Monday of January in 1991, and until their successors are appointed and qualified.
(a-5) Notwithstanding any other provision of this
Section, the term of each member of the Commission who was appointed by the Governor and is in office on June 30, 2003 shall terminate at the close of business on that date or when all of the successor members to be appointed pursuant to this amendatory Act of the 93rd General Assembly have been appointed by the Governor, whichever occurs later. As soon as possible, the Governor shall appoint persons to fill the vacancies created by this amendatory Act. Of the initial commissioners appointed pursuant to this amendatory Act of the 93rd General Assembly, 3 shall be appointed for terms ending on the third Monday in January, 2005, and 4 shall be appointed for terms ending on the third Monday in January, 2007.
(a-10) After the effective date of this amendatory
Act of the 94th General Assembly, the Commission shall be increased to 10 members. As soon as possible after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, the Governor shall appoint, by and with the consent of the Senate, the 3 members added to the Commission under this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, one of whom shall be a representative citizen of the employing class operating under this Act, one of whom shall be a representative of the class of employees covered under this Act, and one of whom shall be a representative citizen not identified with either the employing or employee classes. Of the members appointed under this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, one shall be appointed for a term ending on the third Monday in January, 2007, and 2 shall be appointed for terms ending on the third Monday in January, 2009, and until their successors are appointed and qualified.
(b) Members shall thereafter be appointed to hold
office for terms of 4 years from the third Monday in January of the year of their appointment, and until their successors are appointed and qualified. All such appointments shall be made so that the composition of the Commission is in accordance with the provisions of the first paragraph of this Section.
The Chairman shall receive an annual salary of $42,500, or a salary set by the Compensation Review Board, whichever is greater, and each other member shall receive an annual salary of $38,000, or a salary set by the Compensation Review Board, whichever is greater.
In case of a vacancy in the office of a Commissioner during the recess of the Senate, the Governor shall make a temporary appointment until the next meeting of the Senate, when he shall nominate some person to fill such office. Any person so nominated who is confirmed by the Senate shall hold office during the remainder of the term and until his successor is appointed and qualified.
The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission created by this amendatory Act of 1989 shall succeed to all the rights, powers, duties, obligations, records and other property and employees of the Industrial Commission which it replaces as modified by this amendatory Act of 1989 and all applications and reports to actions and proceedings of such prior Industrial Commission shall be considered as applications and reports to actions and proceedings of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission created by this amendatory Act of 1989.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, in the event the Chairman shall make a finding that a member is or will be unavailable to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her office, the Chairman shall advise the Governor and the member in writing and shall designate a certified arbitrator to serve as acting Commissioner. The certified arbitrator shall act as a Commissioner until the member resumes the duties of his or her office or until a new member is appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, if a vacancy occurs in the office of the Commissioner, but in no event shall a certified arbitrator serve in the capacity of Commissioner for more than 6 months from the date of appointment by the Chairman. A finding by the Chairman that a member is or will be unavailable to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her office shall be based upon notice to the Chairman by a member that he or she will be unavailable or facts and circumstances made known to the Chairman which lead him to reasonably find that a member is unavailable to fulfill the responsibilities of his or her office. The designation of a certified arbitrator to act as a Commissioner shall be considered representative of citizens not identified with either the employing or employee classes and the arbitrator shall serve regardless of his or her political affiliation. A certified arbitrator who serves as an acting Commissioner shall have all the rights and powers of a Commissioner, including salary.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Governor shall appoint a special panel of Commissioners comprised of 3 members who shall be chosen by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, from among the current ranks of certified arbitrators. Three members shall hold office until the Commission in consultation with the Governor determines that the caseload on review has been reduced sufficiently to allow cases to proceed in a timely manner or for a term of 18 months from the effective date of their appointment by the Governor, whichever shall be earlier. The 3 members shall be considered representative of citizens not identified with either the employing or employee classes and shall serve regardless of political affiliation. Each of the 3 members shall have only such rights and powers of a Commissioner necessary to dispose of those cases assigned to the special panel. Each of the 3 members appointed to the special panel shall receive the same salary as other Commissioners for the duration of the panel.
The Commission may have an Executive Director; if so, the Executive Director shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The salary and duties of the Executive Director shall be fixed by the Commission.
On the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 93rd General Assembly, the name of the Industrial Commission is changed to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. References in any law, appropriation, rule, form, or other document: (i) to the Industrial Commission are deemed, in appropriate contexts, to be references to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission for all purposes; (ii) to the Industrial Commission Operations Fund are deemed, in appropriate contexts, to be references to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Operations Fund for all purposes; (iii) to the Industrial Commission Operations Fund Fee are deemed, in appropriate contexts, to be references to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Operations Fund Fee for all purposes; and (iv) to the Industrial Commission Operations Fund Surcharge are deemed, in appropriate contexts, to be references to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission Operations Fund Surcharge for all purposes.
(Source: P.A. 97-18, eff. 6-28-11.)



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