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Louisiana workers’ comp bill heads to the full Senate

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A controversial workers’ compensation bill proposed by the Saints continues to work its way through the Louisiana legislature.

Already passed by the House of Representatives, the bill passed the Senate labor committee Thursday on a vote of 4-3.  It now will progress to the full Senate for a vote.

The dispute centers on the formula for calculating workers’ compensation benefits for players injured during offseason or training camp practices, when they’re not earning their full salary.  The Saints’ bill would focus on the earnings at the time of the injury; the players want the benefits to be based on a 52-week average.

The battle, as Saints outside lawyer Chris Kane recently explained it to PFT, first arose 14 years ago in the court system.  The Saints’ position regarding out-of-season injuries primarily had prevailed via litigation, and the bill was introduced this year after several attempts by a employee lawyer to pass a bill that would codify the players’ preferred formula.

[I]t’s the CBA all over again, in regards to just [the fact that] there’s issues that are always management and NFL versus the Players Association and players,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees recently said, via Mike Triplett of ESPN.com.  “I can tell you one thing, one thing that’s non-negotiable is workers compensation and player health and safety.  Listen, we know we put ourselves at great risk every time we step on the field, every time we step on the practice field and in the weight room and when we train. And we know that’s the nature of the game. But we also pay for our own workers comp insurance so that guys are taken care of when they do get hurt. And it’s not if they get hurt, it’s when they get hurt.”

NFLPA president Eric Winston explained in a recent visit to PFT Live that discussions have occurred in the past regarding a workers’ compensation system that wouldn’t depend on the specific laws of the various states that host NFL teams.  This would avoid the possibility for skirmishes in one or more states regarding whether and to what extent benefits will be available.

The skirmish is a reality in Louisiana, and it’s undermining to some extent the relationship between the NFL and the NFLPA.  Ultimately, the best solution would be one that is negotiated by the two sides.

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9 Responses to “Louisiana workers’ comp bill heads to the full Senate”
  1. mrlaloosh says: May 24, 2014 12:43 AM

    My taxes paying for some professional player to scam the system. No thanks.

  2. buffalodiehard says: May 24, 2014 3:02 AM

    When is Drew Brees gonna put his money where his mouth is and just refuse to play?

    He would cost that franchise more than any scrub undrafted free agent’s workmans comp salary ever would.

  3. gadzod says: May 24, 2014 3:47 AM

    So, they want 52 weeks of coverage, but scoff at adding another week towards the regular season? The NFL players, current and retired are just as much leaches as the owners.

  4. campcouch says: May 24, 2014 5:11 AM

    Wait, I know I’m dumb,but is this legislation being submitted by a football team for themselves or is this something affecting everyone in the state? I can’t really empathize with guys who can rake in $25 million after taxes,yet complain about having to pay into workman’s comp. A Joe making $35k probably would have a beef,but dudes that choose to live extravagantly instead of sensibly,arguing over what they would get during what is now truncated and slow-paced training camp…nah.

  5. thetooloftools says: May 24, 2014 5:45 AM

    The tail waging the dog.

  6. eagleswin says: May 24, 2014 7:53 AM

    Listen, we know we put ourselves at great risk every time we step on the field, every time we step on the practice field and in the weight room and when we train. And we know that’s the nature of the game. But we also pay for our own workers comp insurance so that guys are taken care of when they do get hurt. And it’s not if they get hurt, it’s when they get hurt.”

    ——————-

    According to all the lawsuits filed the players are as innocent as newborn babes and know nothing about the dangers of playing in the NFL.

    The only thing the players seem to know that they they want to get paid while playing and also want to get paid after they are retired. How that happens is the owners and the states problem.

  7. clssylssy says: May 24, 2014 10:21 AM

    Apparently readers ignored the fact that in Louisiana, at least, players pay for their own Worker’s Compensation insurance which means zero taxpayer dollars being spent. Once again, “fans” whining and complaining about something without the facts, they know nothing about. Wonder how many of them have ever filed a Work Comp claim and given a thought to the taxpayer’s buck while milking it to the max!

  8. thelastpieceofcheese says: May 24, 2014 10:39 AM

    The greedy players never get enough!

  9. willycents says: May 24, 2014 11:35 AM

    In Wyo, workers comp is based on your last month’s income. 100% of medical expenses are covered by the state fund. Sounds to me like La. is just doing the same thing.

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