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How do I know if I’m an essential worker?

Published on May 5th, 2020 by The Illinois Hammer Injury Law Firm

How do I know if I’m an essential worker?

You may wonder, “How do I know if I’m an essential worker?” In light of recent events, On March 9, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-08. This order mandates that all Illinois residents stay at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, individuals who are involved in Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or who operate Essential Businesses are exempt from the stay-at-home mandate. These individuals may leave their homes for certain types of work. Individuals who provide “essential products and services” may continue working. They are essential workers. In order to determine whether you are an essential worker, you need to look at the five categories of functions or operations set out in the Executive Order.

Healthcare and Public Health Operations

For example the category “Healthcare and Public Health Operations.” This includes doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, dentists, and pharmacists. Additionally, it also includes a hospital receptionist, a lab courier, medical equipment providers, and manufacturers.

Human Services Operations

The next category is “Human Services Operations.” This includes social workers, nursing home employees, home health aides, nannies, and employees of various shelters, and more. These are governmental service jobs and medical assistance jobs.

Essential Infrastructure

The category “Essential Infrastructure” includes individuals that work in food production, distribution or sales, waste management, utilities (water, sewer, gas, electric), telecommunications (cable, phone), road and highway maintenance, railroad, and building management, etc.

Essential Government Functions

The category “Essential Government Functions” includes paramedics, ambulance drivers, firefighters, police officers, emergency dispatchers, military employees, corrections officers, court employees, sheriff’s office employees, child protection and welfare personnel, and housing and shelter personnel, among others.

Essential Business and Operations

The category “Essential Business and Operations” includes employees with jobs that encompass day-to-day products or services that are necessary for society to function. Common examples of this include grocery workers, mechanics, maintenance workers, and postal workers. This list is not exhaustive. Many other jobs fall under this category. A complete list can be read under the Executive Order 2020-08

Some jobs fall under more than one category. Executive Order 2020-08 lists many more jobs that qualify as exempt from the “stay-at-home” order. You can determine if you are considered an essential worker by carefully reading the Executive Order or contacting the Governor’s office for clarification.

If you are an essential worker that has been put on a ventilator you may qualify for financial assistance under Workers’ Compensation, plus other benefits. If your loved one was an essential worker and died of Covid-19, you may also qualify for benefits such as financial assistance under Workers’ Compensation.

Amid this crisis, resources are available. We authored a chapter on death claims in the Workers’ Compensation handbook other attorneys rely on. We are well-versed in injury law and death claims. You are not in this alone. Please call us today with any questions.

Thank you to our Essential Workers. We appreciate you.

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