Louisiana workers who suffer workplace injuries or conditions due to their employment will often not have severe enough issues that they can never work again. However, they might not be able to get back to the same work they did before. This is when vocational rehabilitation is necessary. There are certain laws for counseling with vocational rehabilitation and this should be understood as the worker takes part in the available programs.
The employer must select a licensed professional vocational rehabilitation counselor. The role of this counselor is to conduct an evaluation and assist to the worker in job placement and receiving vocational training. A worker who does not get this from an employer or is embroiled in a dispute about what the vocational counselor is doing can file a claim so a review can be conducted as to the necessity of the services and what the counselor is providing. The employee can have this expedited.
The judge will schedule a date for a hearing within three days of the motion being received. The hearing will be held between 10 and 30 days after notices are received by the participants. The employee is not asked to submit the dispute issues for mediation or a pretrial conference before getting a hearing. The employee cannot seek damages from a counselor via tort based on the performance of the vocational counselor’s services until all administrative avenues have been completed. If there is a refusal to take part in the counseling, the workers’ compensation benefits can be reduced by half for every week while the refusal is ongoing.
Vocational counseling is an important part of workers’ compensation. It is not unusual for a worker who was injured at work or became ill because of the work he or she was doing to need help in doing a different job. However, vocational rehabilitation could be the source of a disagreement between the employer and the employee. A legal professional can help with this and any other problem with workers’ compensation.
Source: legis.la.gov, “1126. Rehabilitation of injured employees. — (3),” accessed on Dec. 5, 2017