Employers are legally and morally obligated to provide a safe workplace for their employees. But accidents happen, even in the safest of workplaces. Workers’ compensation insurance provides insurance coverage when accidents happen at the workplace. It ensures that the injured worker gets medical care and income protection while they are unable to work. Workers’ compensation insurance also helps to protect employers from lawsuits.
Workers’ compensation insurance will provide benefits to injured workers regardless of who is at fault for their injury. And it will provide death benefits for the worker’s dependents if the worker is killed.
No two states have exactly the same workers’ compensation program. Each state determines the amount of benefits injured employees are entitled to, what impairments or injuries are covered, how impairments will be evaluated and how medical care will be delivered. The state also dictates how much insurance is provided by state-run agencies or by private insurance companies, and the state determines how claims, disputes, and cost-savings strategies should be handled.
Who Needs Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana?
All full-time, part-time, seasonal and minor employees must be covered by workers’ compensation in Louisiana. Coverage must begin on their first day of employment. Subcontractors and certain independent contractors may be considered employees if they are performing substantial manual labor in the pursuit of the employer’s trade, business or occupation.
Domestic employees, most real estate sales persons, uncompensated officers and directors of some non-profit organizations, and public officials are exempted from Louisiana’s workers’ compensation requirements. In addition, volunteer workers do not need to be covered by workers’ compensation in Louisiana.
Employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees through private insurance or they must be self-insured. Benefits are available for mental and physical illness or injury occurring in the course of employment, regardless of who is at fault.
How is Workers’ Compensation Premium Determined?
The workers’ compensation board of each state determines the cost of workers’ compensation insurance. Each occupation is assigned a “risk classification” determined by the frequency of injuries at work and the severity of those injuries. The classification is then assigned a dollar amount based on the risks associated with it. An employer’s premiums are based on its industry risk classification and payroll, with premiums for more dangerous businesses higher than for those that are deemed safer.
Employers with an annual premium above a certain amount are usually eligible for experience rating, which adjusts the premium up or down depending on the employer’s claims history relative to other companies in the same risk category.
Why Should I Have Workers’ Compensation? How Does it Protect My Employees and My Business?
Almost every state requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance—with a few exceptions. This alone is a sufficient reason to have a workers’ compensation policy for your business. States levy heavy penalties for non-compliance with workers’ compensation laws.
Good workers’ compensation insurance is more than just another expense—it is an affordable means of protecting both you and your employees. Employees receive the peace of mind of knowing that they can recover from an injury without the additional emotional and financial stress of fighting their employer for help with medical bills and lost wages. In addition, you are able to significantly reduce the likelihood that an injured employee will sue you for damages.
Call us today if your business needs help with workers’ compensation insurance. For comprehensive information and resources about Louisiana workers’ compensation, visit the workers’ compensation page of the Louisiana Workforce Commission.