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Illinois Industrial Commission - RG 368 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Illinois Industrial Commission - RG 368

Historical Note: In 1911, Illinois passed its first workers’ compensation law, which went into effect on May 1, 1912 and provided for a system of no-fault employer benefits paid to persons suffering job-related injuries or illnesses (L. 1911, p. 314-326). The state’s courts originally administered this act, but on July 1, 1913, a three-member Illinois Industrial Board was created to hear workers’ compensation cases (L. 1913, p. 335). This board was replaced on March 7, 1917 with the five-member Illinois Industrial Commission, which was part of the Department of Labor (L 1917, p. 5). In 1957, the commission was detached from the department and became a separate agency under jurisdiction of the Governor (L. 1957, p. 1270; L. 1961, p. 1500). By 1985, the Illinois Industrial Commission had become a seven-member agency responsible for hearing workers’ compensation cases, with hearings conducted throughout the state, and arbitration decisions appealed to a panel of three commissioners representing the employer, the employee, and a neutral party (P.A. 83-1051, p. 7134; P.A. 83-1125, p. 229). In 1989, the commission was granted the powers to evaluate the financial health of self-insured employers and investigate those employers who refused to cover their workers’ compensation liabilities (P.A. 96-998, p.6764). During the 1980s two advisory boards were created to assist in the commission’s work: the six-member Commission Review Board in 1984 and the nine-member Worker’s Compensation Advisory Board in 1989 (P.A. 83-1125, pp. 232-233; P.A. 86-998, p. 6764). In 2005, the commission was renamed the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and its membership increased to ten individuals (P.A. 93-721, pp. 1043-1186; P. A. 94-277, pp. 2481-2482).

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