TITLE 23. LABOR AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION
CHAPTER 10. WORKERS' COMPENSATION
PART II. BENEFITS
SUBPART A. GENERAL PROVISIONS
23:1208 Misrepresentations concerning benefit payments; penalty
A. It shall be unlawful for any person, for the purpose of obtaining or defeating any benefit or payment under the provisions of this Chapter, either for himself or for any other person, to willfully make a false statement or representation.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person, whether present or absent, directly or indirectly, to aid and abet an employer or claimant, or directly or indirectly, counsel an employer or claimant to willfully make a false statement or representation.
C. (1) Whoever violates any provision of this Section, when the benefits claimed or payments obtained have a value of ten thousand dollars or more, shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than ten years, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.
(2) Whoever violates any provision of this Section, when the benefits claimed or payments obtained have a value of two thousand five hundred dollars or more, but less than a value of ten thousand dollars shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than five years, or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.
(3) Whoever violates any provision of this Section, when the benefits claimed or payments obtained have a value of less than two thousand five hundred dollars, shall be imprisoned for not more than six months or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.
(4) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary which defines "benefits claimed or payments obtained", for purposes of Subsection C of this Section, the definition of "benefits claimed or payments obtained" shall include the cost or value of indemnity benefits, and the cost or value of health care, medical case management, vocational rehabilitation, transportation expense, and the reasonable costs of investigation and litigation.
D. In addition to the criminal penalties provided for in Subsection C of this Section, any person violating the provisions of this Section may be assessed civil penalties by the workers' compensation judge of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars payable to the Kids Chance Scholarship Fund, Louisiana Bar Foundation, and may be ordered to make restitution. Restitution may only be ordered for benefits claimed or payments obtained through fraud and only up to the time the employer became aware of the fraudulent conduct.
E. Any employee violating this Section shall, upon determination by workers' compensation judge, forfeit any right to compensation benefits under this Chapter.
F. Whenever the employer reports an injury to the office pursuant to R.S. 23:1306, the employer and employee shall certify their compliance with this Chapter to the employer's payor on a form prescribed by the director, which form shall include all of the following information:
(1) A summary of the fines and penalties for workers' compensation fraud.
(2) The names, addresses, phone numbers, and signatures of the employee and the employer.
(3) The fine or penalty that may be imposed for failure to report to the payor as required by this Section.
G. Whenever an employee receives benefits pursuant to this Chapter for more than thirty days, the employee shall upon reasonable request report his other earnings to his employer's payor on a form prescribed by the director and signed by the employee.
H. (1) Whenever an employee fails to report to his employer's payor as required by this Section within fourteen days of his receipt of the appropriate form, the employer or payor may suspend the employee's right to benefits as provided in this Chapter. If otherwise eligible for benefits, the employee shall be entitled to all of the suspended benefits after the form has been provided to the payor. Suspension of benefits by the employer or payor shall be made in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 23:1201.1(A) through (E). The employer or payor may move for an order to compel the employee to return the form.
(2) Whenever an employer fails to report to its payor as required by this Section, the employer may be subject to a penalty of five hundred dollars, payable to the payor.
(3) The payor may request an assessment of a penalty for the employer's failure to report as provided in this Subsection by filing a form LDOL-WC-1008 with the director.
I. (1) No person acting gratuitously and without malice, fraudulent intent, or bad faith, shall be subject to civil liability for libel, slander, or any other relevant tort, and no civil cause of action of any nature shall exist against such person or entity by virtue of the filing of reports or furnishing of other information, either orally or in writing, relative to a violation by any person of the provisions of this Section.
(2) The grant of immunity provided by this Subsection shall not abrogate or modify in any way any statutory or other privilege or immunity otherwise enjoyed by such person or entity.
Amended by Acts 1989, No. 454, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 1990; Acts 1992, No. 763, § 1; Acts 1993, No. 829, § 1, eff. June 22, 1993; Acts 1995, No. 368, § 1, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 1995, No. 1129, § 1, eff. June 29, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 90, § 1, eff. June 11, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 394, § 1; Acts 1997, No. 1108, § 1; Acts 2003, No. 702, § 1; Acts 2005, No. 257, § 1; Acts 2013, No. 337, § 1.