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How Workers Compensation Varies for Union and Non-Union Workers

a construction worker assisting his coworker walk after an injury

Illinois Workers' Compensation Laws

Although workers' compensation policies vary by state, there are a handful (including Illinois) that require all employers to carry it or be subject to penalties. While in Illinois this is through fines starting at $10,000, other states may opt for jail time for employers who are non-compliant. However, the state does still allow exemptions for individual workers — sole proprietors, members of limited liability companies, corporate officers, and business partners — who can choose whether or not they want these benefits.

Since workers compensation is a blanket policy in this state, employees do not need to be a member of a union in order to receive their benefits. However, union workers may receive varied or additional compensation.

How it Varies for Union Workers

There are nearly 200 private and public-sector labor unions in the state of Illinois, each with their own labor contracts that members must adhere to. In these agreements, it outlines the workers' compensation benefits that a member will receive if injured on the job or if they sustain an occupational illness. Here is what the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) master contract states about work-related illnesses and injuries:

Employees may receive up to one week of full pay without utilizing their sick leave or other benefits.
If an employee wishes to see a medical professional during work hours for their work-related injury or illness, they require supervisor approval to do so without using sick leave.

It’s important to remember that this can also vary depending on your industry and what your union’s collective bargaining agreements outline. You can view more examples of labor contracts through the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.

Questions about Workers Compensation? We Can Help

If you are still struggling to get workers' compensation for an injury sustained in either a union or non-union job, our Illinois attorneys can help. Turner Law Group have decades' worth of experience in protecting workers' rights across the states and will advocate for you to receive the best outcome possible. Call (800) 653-0198 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.