Workers’ Compensation Claims and COVID-19


The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in Louisiana has given rise to many questions regarding the coverage of employees under the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act. The root of these questions is whether or not COVID-19 infections are compensable. Louisiana law does not currently provide a clear answer.


At this time, we are unsure how the courts will rule on a claim requesting the compensation of employees diagnosed with COVID-19. Each situation is different, and all specific facts of exposure and diagnosis must be taken into consideration.

The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act provides coverage for personal injury by accident and occupational diseases. In investigating COVID-19 claims, we would look to the portion of the Statute addressing occupational diseases. If a claimant can establish that the occupational disease "arises from his/her work" with "causes and conditions characteristic of and peculiar to the particular trade, occupation, process, or employment in which the employee is exposed to such disease,” then such claims could be compensable. To qualify, the claimant must show that the occupational disease at issue (in this case, COVID-19) was contracted during the course of employment and that the disease was the result of the nature of the work performed.

We encourage LHA WC Trust Fund members to submit a first report of injury on all instances of positive COVID-19 employees, suspected positive employees, and non-infected/quarantined employees. We will conduct a full investigation, including interviews with employer contact, witnesses, employee, and treating physicians.

The LHA WC Trust Fund recognizes the extenuating circumstances that your employees are dealing with and we are committed to working with our members to do what is right.



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