Louisiana Business Profile
Behind every successful business is the availability of good people. And the people of Louisiana are among the best you'll find anywhere --loyal, hard-working and productive.
Louisiana is a right-to-work state in which approximately 85% of the work force is non-unionized. Due to the declining rate of union activity, it ranks first among all states in the lowest number of man-hours lost due to work stoppages.
The state's work force totals nearly two million people. Among them are the 200,000 manufacturing workers who are the most productive in the nation. Their manufacturing output totals $6.36 per payroll dollar, compared with the national average of $4.60.
Ongoing training programs help business and industry meet one of its most pressing needs-developing and retaining a trained, skilled work force.
Drawing from more than 50 vocational and technical schools, the QuickStart Training Program arranges customized pre-employment training at no cost to the employer. The federally-funded Job Training Partnership Act provides job opportunities to dislocated and economically disadvantaged workers, reimbursing up to 50% of wages paid during training.
Both programs demonstrate the state's commitment to foster a pro-business environment, developing a long-term, profitable relationship with business and industry.
During 1976, the Louisiana Legislature passed a strong right-to-work law. An individual in Louisiana cannot be denied the right to work because of membership or non-membership in a labor union. An employer cannot require employees to become or remain members of a labor union, or require that dues or fees be paid to a union or labor organization as a condition of employment.
The amount of benefits an employee is entitled to receive during the period of temporary disability is based on his or her average weekly wage prior to the injury. Such employee may receive two-thirds of that amount, but not more than three-fourths of the statewide average weekly wage.
Louisiana has 14 medical reimbursement schedules in place which regulate payments to health care providers as a system of review for medical claims. Medical review programs have significantly contributed to decreasing costs.
Louisiana employers can either self-insure or carry workers' compensation insurance obtained from private commercial carriers. Large firms often self-insure. Industry-wide group self-insurance funds also may be available.
In addition, the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation (LWCC), a private, non-profit corporation backed by full faith of the state, provides workers' compensation insurance to Louisiana employers. LWCC provides for two types of insurance:
1. Accepted Risks-employers who cannot obtain insurance in the voluntary market-are insured under a rate structure designed to cover their actual losses.
2. Preferred Risks-companies with good safety records-are insured at rates lower than those for Accepted Risks.
LWCC-sponsored policies are sold by licensed insurance agents. The LWCC is required by law to implement safety programs and manage claims. There is an emphasis on rehabilitation and re-employment.
Employers opting for self-insurance are required to complete an application, including a $100 application fee, and submit financial reports for the three previous years. If a company can sustain self-insurance, a surety bond or certificate of deposit equal to the average of workers' compensation losses for the three previous years-rounded to the nearest $50,000-is required.
The surety bond or certificate of deposit (CD) required may be waived if the company has a net worth of $250 million and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3-to-1, or lower.
All Louisiana employers are required to make contributions to a federally-funded, state-administered unemployment compensation fund, in compliance with state and federal laws.
New employers are taxed according to the average rate for their industry, ranging from a high of 4.07 percent to a low of 0.30 percent. Ratings have been established for 97 industries by SIC code. These ratings are applied for a 24 month "chargeability time", a period of usually 36 to 48 actual months.
Once a business has been in operation for a 24 month "chargeability time," each employer is taxed according to a rate established by his own experience rating. Unemployment compensation is calculated on wage base which is considered to be the first $8,500 of each employee's wage or salary.