For many years, the workers' compensation claims of Louisiana state employees were handled by the Louisiana Office of Risk Management, a state agency. Under the Jindal administration, Louisiana's risk management was privatized in 2010.
In late 2015, the contract for handling workers' compensation claims of state employees was awarded to Sedgwick Claims Management Services, a Tennessee-based company. This contract is undoubtedly very lucrative for Sedgwick and part of the motivation for awarding the contract was the ability of Sedgwick to reduce costs.
Be warned...reduced costs = reduced benefits for injured workers. We have seen very aggressive, unreasonable claims handling from Sedgwick since they took over the state worker claims. We have seen adjusters force unrepresented claimants to use their sick and annual leave when unable to work due to a work accident. Once the leave was exhausted, the injured worker was subject to termination based upon the Civil Service rule relating to depletion of all sick and annual leave.
Additionally, we have seen misuse of the law regarding retirement of injured workers. Generally, if an injured worker retires and voluntarily removes herself from the workforce, then she will be limited to only two years of indemnity benefits. Just this week, we have met with two state employees with workers' compensation claims who had depleted all leave and who then retired due to medical disabilities related to the work injury. The adjusters assigned to these files then alleged that the injured workers voluntarily removed themselves from the workforce and indicated that the two-year rule of indemnity benefits applied. We disagree.
This type of unreasonable claims handling is no doubt spurred by Sedgwick's promise to cut costs on state claims. Let us help you and aggressively protect your rights!