Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on your behalf, Justworks may need to collect account information such as your account number and current rate. You can read more about it here: State Unemployment Insurance.
Recruiting & Hiring Practices
Act 402 requires that all employers confirm the citizenship or work authorization status of their Louisiana employees either (1) by enrolling and participating in E-Verify which allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees or (2) through collection of specific employee documentation as determined by the state. E-Verify compares information from Form I-9 to government records to confirm that an employee is authorized to work in the U.S.
State Regulation: Act 402
Louisiana prohibits private employers from inquiring about or considering arrests or charges that do not result in a conviction. If an employer discovers such information, they may not use it as the basis of any employment decisions. The law also requires employers to make an individualized assessment when reviewing other types of criminal history records to determine whether the findings have a direct and adverse relationship with the specific role before taking any adverse action based upon such findings.
Louisiana Legislature: ACT No. 406
When classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, there are a few things to consider, including the different tests that apply under different federal and state employment laws, and potential penalties and other liabilities for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Certain state laws apply tests that are more stringent than the guidance provided by federal agencies, such as the IRS and Department of Labor, to apply in conjunction with federal laws.
You can read our general Help Center article on contractors, and view information on how to determine if someone is a contractor or employee in Louisiana in the relevant section at the link below.
Mineral*: Louisiana Independent Contractors
Louisiana Workforce Commission: Worker Misclassification Information
Louisiana Workforce Commission: Unemployment Insurance Forms and Publications
Minimum Wage and Overtime
The hourly minimum wage and overtime requirements in Louisiana are currently the same as the federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Louisiana employers can find the most up-to-date requirements from the Louisiana Department of Labor (DOL).
Mineral*: Louisiana Minimum Wage and Overtime
Meal & Rest Breaks
While Louisiana does not have a generally applicable law regarding meal and rest periods, any minor that performs work for any 5-hour period must receive a meal break of at least 30 minutes.
Mineral*: Louisiana Meal and Rest Periods
Louisiana Workforce Commission: Department of Labor Posters
Louisiana Workforce Commission: Employment of Minors Informational Booklet
Beyond the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state pregnancy accommodation laws, certain Louisiana employers are covered under a state leave law relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. Covered employers under this law are those with more than 25 employees in Louisiana for every working day in 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Though employers are only required to provide a birthing parent with 6 weeks of leave for a normal delivery, in situations where longer medical leave is required, employers must grant leave for a reasonable period of time which can be specified not to exceed four months. Employees are entitled to use accrued vacation leave during this time.
Mineral*: Louisiana Family and Medical Leave
Harassment & Discrimination
Louisiana law prohibits employment discrimination based on membership in any protected class by employers covered under Louisiana’s anti-discrimination laws.
Louisiana Commission on Human Rights (LCHR): LCHR Employment Discrimination
Though not required for Louisiana employers, anti-harassment training can help prevent unlawful discrimination and aids in promoting a healthy, inclusive workplace. To provide additional support in this area, Justworks has teamed up with EVERFI to offer customers free access to a suite of harassment prevention and inclusion training.
Louisiana employers should familiarize themselves with specific compliance issues and certain key documents for separating employees.
Louisiana employers are required to file Form 77, for every employee who is separated for any reason, within three days of separation. This online form requires specific details about the separation, including dates, reasoning, and payments. If Justworks opened your Louisiana state unemployment account, you will need to reach out to your Customer Success Manager or our 24/7 Support team for your account login information, so that you may complete the online form.
Employers are also required to provide the Required Notification to Employees of the Availability of Unemployment Compensation to all employees who separate from employment, voluntarily or involuntarily.
Upon separation, final wages must be paid by the next regular payday, or no later than 15 days following the date of discharge or resignation, whichever occurs sooner. This is true regardless of whether the separation was voluntary or involuntary.
Accrued, unused vacation time is considered wages in Louisiana, and must be paid out to the employee upon separation. Employers may develop vacation policies with certain other limitations in place (such as use-it-or-lose-it based on an annual cycle), and should clearly set forth in writing any policy with respect to unused vacation.
LA State Legislature: RS 23:631 Payment of Employees
Mineral*: Louisiana Separation
Business Closings and Layoffs
The Federal WARN Act imposes certain notice and other obligations on covered businesses before conducting large-scale business closures, layoffs, or relocations. Louisiana employers who may be required to file notice can do so with the State Dislocated Worker Unit and to the appropriate unit of local government . For more information, visit the links below.
U.S. Department of Labor: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Advisor
Louisiana Workforce Commission: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act Fact Sheet
Louisiana Workforce Commission: Rapid Response
Mineral*: Louisiana Layoffs
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.