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What Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyers Should Know About the ADA When Their Injured Clients Apply to Return to Work with Alternative Employers

Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyers, Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Lawyers and Jones Act Lawyers often represent clients who are unable to return to their heavy-duty job of injury. Because of permanent work-related injury restrictions placed on them by their treating doctors, these injured workers are faced with finding employment with another employer in a medium, light, or sedentary duty position. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) helps protect these disabled workers in the pre-offer interview process. Specifically, the ADA prohibits prospective employers from asking applicants about their workers’ compensation claims history. Asking about job-related injuries or workers’ compensation history is prohibited because it related directly to the severity of the applicant’s impairment and are likely to elicit information about the disability. Furthermore, an employer may not ask a third party (such as a service that provides information about workers’ compensation claims, a former employer etc) any questions that it could not directly ask the applicant. Nor can the employer require medical examinations that seek information about physical or mental impairments or health. However, once the job offer is made, a prospective employer may ask disability-related questions and perform medical examinations. The job offer may be conditioned on the results of post-offer disability-related questions or medical examinations. Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyers can find more information online about the EEOC’s position under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, on pre-employment disability-related questions and medical examinations.

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United States Department of Labor Survey of Louisiana Work Related Injuries

NUMBER OF LOUISIANA WORK INJURIES BY AGE AND GENDER According to a December 2, 2013 United States Department of Labor, Survey of Louisiana Occupational Injures, in 2012, Louisiana had 10,030 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses requiring Louisiana Private Industry injured workers miss time from work. Of the 10,030, 6,000 were men, 3,970 women. The number of Louisiana injured workers by age are: 310 between the age of 16 to 19, 850 between the age of 20 to 24, 2,660 between the age of 25 to 34, 1,960 between the age of 35 to 44, 2,590 between the age of 45 to 54, 1,320 between the age of 55 to 64 and 280 were 65 and over. Gender and age was apparently not noted on the remaining 60 injured workers. TYPES OF LOUISIANA INJURED WORKER BY INDUSTRY 2,390 of the 10,030 Louisiana Injured Workers were in the goods producing industry such as natural resources and mining, construction, manufacturing. 7,640 of the 10,030 were in service occupations such as trade, transportation and utilities, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and other services. PROBLEMS FACING SOME OF THESE INJURED WORKERS Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyers are well aware of employers’ emphasis on no loss time accidents. Many employers have been forcing injured workers back to work too soon. Medical treatment is sometimes delayed or denied as are weekly workers compensation checks. Insurance companies are sending nurse case managers to meet with the injured workers treating doctor. […]

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Louisiana Court of Appeal Holds Injured Independent Contractor did not Meet Burden of Proof for Workers’ Compensation Benefits under Manual Labor Exception

Recently, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal addressed whether an individual seeking workers’ compensation benefits qualified as an independent contractor of a bath and kitchen company, performing manual labor essential to the employer’s trade or business.  Under Louisiana law, workers’ compensation coverage exists for independent contractors performing manual labor during a substantial part of the work period. Here, the court analyzed the type of work performed, and whether this work was in fact part of the principal’s business or occupation. John C. Maldonado-Mejia (“Maldonado”) was working when he fell through the roof of a commercial property rented by Eversound Kitchen and Bath, L.L.C. Mr. Maldonado suffered a head injury and lapsed into a coma.  He filed a claim for compensation and alleged he was injured in the course and scope of his employment with Eversound, that Eversound had not paid workers’ compensation benefits or medical treatment, and that he was entitled to both penalties and attorney’s fees.  Eversound denied that Mr. Maldonado was an employee and also claimed there had been no reason for Mr. Maldonado to have been on the roof.

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Louisiana Court Finds Injured Worker’s Testimony Concerning Bite from Client’s Dog, and Resulting Back Injury, Credible

In a workers’ compensation case before the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, the court addressed whether an injured employee’s back pain was due to a work-related accident. Deborah Gaines worked as a caregiver for Home Care.  While working for a client, Ms. Gaines alleged she was bitten on her right leg by the client’s dog. This bite forced her to jump backward in a twisting motion, leading to injuries to her right leg and back. She reported the accident to Home Care the next day, and she was treated for the dog bite.  While Ms. Gaines contended that she repeatedly informed her employer of her ongoing back pain from the dog bite accident, Home Care denied that a work-related accident caused her back injury. They denied her indemnity and medical benefits. Ms. Gaines then filed a disputed claim for compensation in an effort to recover benefits and medical expenses. The case went to trial, and the Office of Workers’ Compensation found that Ms. Gaines carried her burden of proving she suffered a work-related accident, causing an injury to her back at the time the dog bit her.  The court found she was temporarily totally disabled from employment and rendered judgment in favor of Ms. Gaines.

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The Nation's Top Injured Workers' Attorneys 2014-2017


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