What Are an Employee's Obligations Under Louisiana Workers Compensation?

City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Injured Louisiana Employee Must Report the Accident or Injury to the Employer Within 30 Days

Just as Louisiana employees have certain rights under workers compensation, they also have obligations.  However, the employee's obligations are not nearly as extensive or as strict as the obligations which Louisiana employers have under workers compensation.

Essentially, the employee's main obligation is to report the accident or injury to the employer within 30 days of the day that the accident or injury occurs.

Specifically, Louisiana law provides that an employee cannot have a workers compensation claim “unless notice of the injury has been given to the employer within thirty days after the date of the injury or death. This notice may be given or made by any person claiming to be entitled to compensation or by anyone on his behalf.”  Again, that means that the accident or injury must be reported within 30 days.

Despite the mandatory language of this provision, it is actually rarely enforced against employees.

To successfully seek forfeiture of an employee's claim pursuant to this provision, the employer must show that it was prejudiced by the lack of notice of the injury. There has been no instance of such forfeiture simply because the majority of work accidents do not result in a claim.

Further, employers usually have supervisors and co-employees who are aware of the incident and should know that the claimant might have an injury.  Because of this knowledge of supervisors and coworkers who also remain silent, the employee cannot be so deprived of his claim, and an employer cannot assert that it was prejudiced by the alleged lack of notice. 

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