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Employment Laws in Louisiana

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Employers in Louisiana must conform to these state rules relating to the employment relationship.

Employee means an individual employed by an employer.

Under the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, an employer is defined as a person, association, legal or commercial entity, or the state, its agencies, boards, commissions, or political subdivisions receiving services from an employee and, in return, giving compensation of any kind to an employee.

For purposes of Louisiana's discrimination provisions on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, employer means an employer who employs 20 or more employees within Louisiana for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and also includes an insurer with respect to appointment of insurance agents, regardless of the character of the agent's employment.

Employment of an individual by a parent, spouse, or child, employment in the domestic service of the employer and employment by a private educational or religious institution or any nonprofit corporation, or the employment by a school, college, university or other educational institution or institution of learning of persons having a particular religion if the institution is, in whole or in substantial part, owned, supported, controlled, or managed by a particular religion or by a particular religious corporation, association, or society, or if the curriculum is directed toward the propagation of a particular religion is not covered.

For purposes of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions, employer means those who employ at least 25 individuals for each working day of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

For purposes of the discrimination provisions of Louisiana's smoking in the workplace law, all employers are covered.

Prohibited Employment Discrimination

Employers may not discriminate in their hiring or employment practices against individuals on the basis of:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • national origin
  • political affiliation
  • disability
  • age (over 40)
  • pregnancy
  • childbirth or related medical conditions
  • sickle cell trait

Employers contracting with the state may not discriminate against or harass employees on the basis of:

  • race
  • color
  • religion
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • national origin
  • political affiliation
  • disability

It is unlawful for any person with the intent to intimidate any person or group of persons, to etch, paint, draw, or otherwise place or display a hangman's noose on the property of another, a highway, or other public place, including workplaces that are public places.

There is no interruption of prescription resulting from a plaintiff's giving or failure to give the notice of court action to the person who has allegedly committed a discriminatory act.

Louisiana law protects persons who refuse to provide specified health care services due to their sincerely held religious beliefs or convictions. There is an exception for emergency care, and a person must notify his or her employer as soon as practicable of any health care service that violates his or her conscience.

Workers' compensation claims. Discrimination in hiring practices based on an individual's assertion of a claim for workers' compensation in Louisiana or any other state is prohibited.

Smoking. Discrimination in hiring practices based on an individual's decision to smoke or not smoke outside of the workplace is prohibited. The prohibition includes requiring that applicants for employment agree not to smoke outside the course of employment as a condition of employment.

An individual, person, entity, or business subject to the smoking prohibitions of the Louisiana Smokefree Air Act may not discriminate or retaliate in any manner against a person for making a complaint regarding a violation of the Act or for furnishing information concerning a violation to an enforcement authority.

Recordkeeping/Posting Requirements

The following posting requirements must be met:

  • Age. Posting of a prepared extract is required in connection with the law governing discrimination on account of age. Employers covered by the law must post a notice prepared by the Department of Labor in conspicuous places on their premises.
  • Sickle cell trait. Posting of a prepared extract of the law governing discrimination because of sickle cell trait is required. The notice is prepared by the Department of Labor.
  • Genetic testing. Every employer must post and keep posted in conspicuous places upon its premises a notice, to be prepared by the Department of Labor, setting forth information the department deems appropriate to effectuate the purposes of the genetic nondiscrimination and privacy in the workplace law.

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