Most employees in Louisiana are covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured during the course of their job duties. Coverage starts the day they start work.
However, there are certain categories of employees who are exempt from workers’ compensation coverage. These include domestic employees, most real estate brokers and sellers, and unpaid officers and directors of nonprofit organizations. Certain kinds of employees are exempt because they are covered by other laws designed to protect workers. For example, dockworkers may be covered under the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, maritime workers may be covered under the Jones Act, and railroad workers may be covered under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act.
Note that workers’ compensation protections extend to employees, not necessarily to workers. However, for the purposes of workers’ compensation, the definition of “employee” is relatively broad, and can include part-time workers, seasonal workers and workers who are minors. In some cases, workers who are classified as independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation. Even workers who are otherwise classified as independent contractors may be covered by workers’ compensation in some cases, if their work requires them to pursue the employer’s business, or if they are required to perform substantial manual labor.
In some cases, an employer or its insurance company will deny a workers’ compensation claim, arguing that the worker was not technically an employee. These case can be difficult, as they require the injured worker to gather evidence to show what their job was like, and how much work they did before the injury. It can be hard to collect this evidence, especially if the worker is no longer at the workplace.
An attorney with experience in workers’ compensation law can help the injured and their families with a wide variety of legal issues.