Gov. Pritzker signs bill extending protections for first responders and essential workers

Information provided by the Governor’s Office

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (February 26, 2021) – Building on efforts to protect Illinois’ first responders and frontline essential workers, Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 4276 into law. The legislation extends worker compensation benefits until June 30, 2021, for first responders and frontline essential workers who were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 through their job.

“This legislation ensures that our first responders and frontline essential workers, as well as their families, continue to receive the protection and benefits that they deserve,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois has made substantial progress in our fight against COVID-19 and it is because of the hard work, and sometimes difficult sacrifices, from our first responders and frontline essential workers. I am proud to sign this legislation as my administration continues to do all it can to protect them, their families and all our communities.”

HB 4276 also allows extended time off up to 60 days if COVID impacted the recovery of an employee. For example, if COVID impacted an individual’s ability to attend physical therapy at the doctor’s office which was closed because of COVID-19, under the new legislation, the time period is extended so the employee can now take time off to rehabilitate and receive compensation.

The legislation also extends the timeline in which the death of a policeman and fireman from COVID-19 can be designated as a fatal injury while in active service.

HB 4276 is effective immediately.