NFL Players Association Fights Changes to Louisiana Workers Comp
The New Orleans Saints recently supported a bill that changed workers comp premium payouts for football players, and now the NFL Players Association is fighting back.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said of the legislation, which passed the Louisiana House of Representatives on May 7th, that the workers comp changes “specifically targets professional athletes, to take away or limit their workers’ compensation benefits.”
The workers comp legislation proposes to calculate football players’ benefits based only on recent earnings; however, the collective bargaining agreement through the NFL has a formula that also includes future earnings, helping workers comp benefits even out over the course of the year. Under the current Louisiana proposal, those benefits would be much less during the pre-game season.
“Our union exists to protect the rights that are constantly under attack by owners who don’t need the money, but they simply want the money,” Smith said.
The proposed workers comp legislation would not just effect football players in the state; it would change workers comp benefits for any professional athlete, including the NBA’s Pelicans.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Chris Broadwater, said that seven lawsuits involving the issue of workers comp payments to professional athletes have been decided in court due to the previous workers comp legislation being unclear on benefit calculations. Broadwater said that six of the seven rulings agreed with the language in his bill.
“What conclusion are we left with, when we start off knowing that no team loses money on workers’ comp, no state _ no citizen _ loses money on workers’ comp, but we have owners who constantly are trying to change the law to hurt players who they know are going to get hurt in this system?” Smith said.
“We’re going to be asking Saints fans to call (Reps. Broadwater and Henry) up and ask them why they want to sponsor legislation to hurt their players,” Smith added. “We’re going to ask our current players to weigh in on the fights about why an owner wants to hurt the benefits that are lawfully entitled to their players.”
The workers comp bill will now head to the Louisiana Senate for consideration.
The Strom Law Firm Understands Worker’s Comp Legislation
You are entitled to all necessary medical treatment that is likely to lessen your disability. Workers’ compensation generally pays for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic devices, and prescriptions. Keep in mind that in order to receive these benefits you must go to the doctor chosen by your employer or its insurance representative.
The workers comp lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC proudly seek justice on behalf of employees injured or killed on the job who work for private companies, as well as employees working for local county, city, and state government. We are licensed to practice throughout South Carolina, as well as Georgia and New York. If you are confused about worker’s comp laws, or have had your worker’s comp claim denied, contact us. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.