With oil and gas prices down, Louisiana oil and gas and related industry layoffs are inevitable. Injured workers who returned to work in a modified duty position after receiving Louisiana Workers Compensation, Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation or Defense Base Act disability payments may find they are they are first to be let go.
Before applying for unemployment benefits, the injured worker may want to immediately seek the advice if an experienced Louisiana Workers Compensation Lawyer to see if he is still eligible for reinstatement of workers compensation indemnity payments.
A laid off disabled injured worker may be able to have his or her compensation wage loss payments fully reinstated provided he has not settled his claim or waited too long to file the proper legal paperwork to protect his indemnity benefits.
In a Louisiana Workers Compensation Act case of Hunter v. Alliance Compressors, 934 So.2d 225 (2006), Ms. Hunter returned to work with light-duty work restrictions. She still was under these same work restrictions at the time her Alliance Compressor employer laid her off. The Court noted that entitlement to Supplemental Earnings Indemnity Benefits is based on the injured worker sustaining a work related injury resulting in her inability to earn 90 percent or more of his or her average pre-injury wage. La.R.S. 23:1221(3)(a). Ms. Hunter showed she was not capable of earning 90 percent of her pre-injury wage. The burden then shifted to the Alliance employer to show jobs were available to Ms. Hunter. The Alliance employer failed to satisfy its burden of establishing that a suitable job was available to Ms. Hunter in their respective communities or in showing that a job had been offered to her that she was capable of performing. The court ordered workers compensation wage loss/indemnity benefits be reinstated during the period of unemployment.
If you have any questions about your Louisiana Workers Compensation, Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act or Defense Base Act disability benefits, call a workers compensation injury lawyer at 866-558-9151 or submit your inquiry online. Please be advised that you may be facing important legal deadlines so don’t delay.