Workers' Compensation: Louisiana
Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.
Author: Daniel P. O'Brien, Fisher Phillips.
- All Louisiana employers are required to post the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Poster in the workplace. See Notice Requirements.
- All employers with one or more employees are required by law to provide for workers' compensation insurance benefits, except those that are able to participate in a group self-insurance pool, those who are able to self-insure on their own and those that are exempted by statute. See Covered Employers.
- Not all employees are covered by workers' compensation insurance, and some classes of employees may opt out of coverage. Independent contractors are not covered. See Covered Employees.
- Louisiana's workers' compensation system is a no-fault system, meaning an employer must compensate an employee who is injured or becomes ill on the job regardless of who is at fault for the injury. A compensable injury in Louisiana is defined as an injury that arises out of and occurs in the course of employment. See Compensable Injuries.
- Covered employers may not be liable to pay workers' compensation claims under certain limited circumstances. See Employer Defenses.
- Employers are required to pay the medical benefits of an injured employee through an appropriate workers' compensation system. The injured employee may choose a physician but must be examined by a physician of the employer's choosing, if the employer requests. See Medical Benefits and Communication with Healthcare Providers.
- In addition to paying for medical costs, workers' compensation also provides payment in the form of wage replacement or impairment benefits. In order to receive compensation benefits such as Temporary Total Disability, Permanent Partial, Supplemental Earning Benefits (SEB) and PermanentTotal Disability, the employee must provide medical proof. Benefits are based upon the calculation of the injured workers' average weekly wage. See Amount of Compensation Benefits.
- Employees are required to give notice to an employer within 30 days of any accident that occurs. An employer must post written notice of this requirement in the workplace. If the employer fails to keep such a notice posted, the time frame for notice to the employer is extended to 12 months. See Claims Procedure.
- Louisiana law prohibits discrimination of any type against an employee who files a workers' compensation claim. However, the statute specifically states that an employer may discharge an employee who is no longer capable of doing the job based upon mental or physical limitations due to a compensable injury. See Retaliation and Interference.
- If a dispute arises between the employee and the employer regarding benefits, then a specific notice form is filed with the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration. See Administrative Hearings and Court Proceedings.