Louisiana football fans may have heard about legislation that was proposed in 2014 that would have affected the method of calculating workers’ compensation benefits for New Orleans Saints players who were injured. The Republican bill, which was not passed, aimed to change the manner in which Saints’ players income losses were calculated if the injury occurred during training camp.
As is the case throughout the NFL, Saints players are paid their regular season salary in 17 weekly payments during the regular season. However, during the off-season, Saints players are paid at a lower rate of $175 per day during workouts and minicamps, while veteran players earn $1,700 a week during the training camps and non-veterans earn $925.
The bill would have made players whose injuries occur during the off-season only receive workers’ compensation benefits based on the lower pay rate. This calculation would have not taken into account the player’s higher regular salary. The National Football League Players Association came out out strongly against the bill, saying it would only have benefited team management while potentially harming injured players. It called upon players to reconsider signing with the Saints in protest of the bill, which was ultimately defeated.
Like other employees, National Football League players are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the event they are injured while they are on the job. The proposed legislation would have greatly reduced the players’ ability to replace their lost income if they were injured outside of the regular season. People who are injured while on the job, regardless of their occupation, may want to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney in the preparation and submission of the required claim for benefits. Legal representation can also be valuable in a subsequent hearing should the claim be disputed or denied.