It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Louisiana statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Louisiana labor laws every small business owner should know.

Resources

First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:

Leave

  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: Employers may be required to provide an employee unpaid leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
    • Employers cannot refuse to pay out any accrued vacation time upon separation from employment. 
    • Employers can cap the amount of vacation time that may be accrued, and can also implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their leave by a set date. 
  • Jury Duty: If an employee gives reasonable notice of their jury obligation, employers are not allowed to punish them for responding to the summons. 
    • If an employee is called to serve on a state petit or grand jury, they must be paid up to 1 day’s worth of wages and cannot be required to use any available vacation or sick leave. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: No statute.
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

Employees who are terminated, who resign or who are separated from employment due to a labor dispute must be paid all final wages by the next regularly scheduled payday or within 15 days, whichever comes first. 

Minimum Wage

Louisiana does not have a state minimum wage rate. Employers are required to comply with the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25.

Tipped Wages

There is no state law for tipped wages either. The federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13. Under the FLSA, employers are permitted to take a tip credit based on tips earned by employees and count them towards the standard minimum wage. 

Child Labor

  • Minors under the age of 16 may not work: 
    • More than 3 hours on a school day
    • More than 8 hours on a non-school day
    • More than 18 hours in a school week
    • More than 40 hours in a non-school week 
    • Outside of the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except from June 1 through Labor Day, when they may work until 9 p.m. 
  • Minors 16 years of age may not work between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. on school days. 
  • Minors 17 years of age may not work between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. on school days. 
  • All minor employees must receive a meal period after working for 5 consecutive hours. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • There are no state laws governing the payment of overtime, so federal rules apply. 
    • Federal law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½  their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. 
  • Aside from the required meal period for minor employees, there are no other state laws regarding breaks or meal periods for adult employees. 
    • Federal law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. 
    • Meal periods do not need to be paid if employees are free to do as they wish. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sickle cell trait, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions.
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       

Termination

Louisiana is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in South Dakota.

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