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Louisiana Employment Law Blog

Six gay right groups not supporting workplace discrimination bill

Many Louisiana residents are aware of the Employment Non-discrimination Act that was passed by the U.S. Senate last year. This is expected to be a historic legislation that would help prevent workplace discrimination. However, six groups that have been fighting for the rights of homosexuals have withdrawn support to ENDA on the grounds that not all employers would have to abide by ENDA laws. They may object to homosexuality on religious grounds, and these employers cannot be booked for workplace discrimination.

The groups are guided by the American Civil Liberties Union, a civil rights group. The move has brought in a sharp wedge between gay rights organizations. Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that certain organizations may be exempt from providing insurance coverage that includes contraceptives to workers. The gay rights groups are against this form of workplace discrimination.

Wrongful termination lawsuit filed against Port Allen mayor

Louisiana residents probably have read about the wrongful termination case of Audrey McCain, the Chief Finance Officer of Port Allen. This has been a much publicized case and the legal fight has now gone on for more than a year. The CFO has filed the case against former Mayor Demetric Slaughter in what can be called a violation of employee rights.

McCain's lawyer said that the former mayor had allegedly defamed McCain and her integrity as a lawyer and a legislator is at stake. The wrongful termination case began on February 13.

Cashier files lawsuit against employer for missing wages

Louisiana statutes clearly state that any employee who spends time on the job should be paid for it. However, sometimes employees are not paid the hourly rate initially agreed upon, or an employer neglects to pay an employee overtime wages for excess hours worked. In such cases, the employee may file a lawsuit against the employer for wage and hour claims.

Ordinance introduced in Baton Rouge to ban discrimination

Every person has a right to be treated with respect. However, some people may treat a person differently because they have certain personal characteristics. Age, race, gender and religion may be the grounds for such discrimination. Sometimes, things may be said or done in a way that does not indicate directly that one person is prejudiced towards another. However, this may still be recognized it as a form of discrimination.

People can also be discriminated against on the basis of their race, age and sex at the workplace. Workplace discrimination may be present in various forms. For example, during an interview, personal questions may be asked that may lead to the rejection of the candidate, though not explicitly. Also, sometimes although the person is selected for a certain task, that person may be discriminated against by a supervisor or others at work. Direct or indirect discrimination should not be tolerated by anyone.

Ex-employee claims breach of contract, files lawsuit in Louisiana

Various employee issues can emerge at a Louisiana workplace, including workplace safety, wage disputes, taxation questions, wrongful termination and discrimination. Many of these are covered by various state and federal employment laws. However, sometimes an employment relationship may be entirely based on the contract entered into by the employee and the employer. In such cases, state contract law may be applicable to any employee disputes.

Many people who have applied for a job are also protected under the employment laws. A job applicant has a right to be free from discrimination; hence employers are not allowed to ask certain questions related to the applicant's family during the hiring process. Also, employees have a right to a safe workplace, fair wages and have certain whistleblower rights as well. If any of the rights of an employee are violated, the employee may take all necessary legal steps to protect them. Even employees who are terminated can benefit from employment laws, if their termination was not valid or if their wages were not paid to them. Recently, a former employee in Louisiana filed a suit against a healthcare company in order to collect vacation time and back wages.

Louisiana court reversal reactivates wrongful termination case

In a case of wrongful termination, an employee of a renowned company said he was beleaguered, demoted and finally dismissed from service for helping law enforcement investigate alleged company financial wrongdoings. The employee said he suffered wrongful dismissal for exposing alleged illicit activities around a federally funded grant program created to provide money to Louisiana homeowners after Hurricane Katrina.

The employee's lawsuit against the infrastructure company was rejected for late filing last year. The lawsuit said he was terminated after his resignation was rejected by his employers. But now the court of appeal reversed the previous judgment and has sent the case back to the lower court, allowing the lawsuit to proceed. A spokesperson for the infrastructure company had previously commented that the company does not subscribe to unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation towards its employees. Additional comment on this ruling was unavailable.

Court rules officer improperly terminated, orders reinstatement

Readers from Louisiana may recall the termination of a New Orleans officer in 2012, after he tested positive for marijuana. Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed, the results of that decision were appealed and the appeals court ruled that the officer was improperly terminated and should get his job back.

The officer was on the force for more than two and one-half years before the incident, which took place in January of 2012. He and his partner were arresting an aggressive suspect when the suspect struck the officer on his head. The officer received a laceration due to the incident. During his treatment at a medical center, the officer submitted to a post-accident drug test. According to New Orleans Police Department policy, this screening is mandatory for any officer injured on the job. After four days, the test results came back positive. The next day, the officer underwent an additional test of his hair and urine, which came back negative. He was fired in June of the same year. In May 2013, the Civil Service Commission upheld his termination.

Could Louisiana bill affect professional athletes' rights?

New Orleans Saints football fans may be aware of a legislative bill pushed by that NFL team's owner, which says that workers' compensation claims by professional athletes should be based on recent past compensation instead of potential earnings. The Louisiana State Senate Labor Committee advanced the bill to the full senate for debate by a margin of one vote. The NFL Players Association opposed this bill, stating that the legislation could reduce workers' compensation received by injured players because future wages would not be considered for the benefit calculation.

Sources stated that during training camps and off-season workouts, players are paid for each day they play. If the bill is passed, compensation could be calculated on the basis of this low off-season pay. A player injured during off-season would receive less compensation because the benefit amount will not be based on a contract value. People who support this bill stated that the players would be paid compensation under rules similar to others who work in Louisiana. The Louisiana Appeals Court has sided with the team in most of the past lawsuits filed, so the bill would put the law in step with recent case rulings.

Employees seek pay raise from fast food chains

Every employee, including those in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has a right to fair wages and healthy work conditions. However, some workers are denied breaks and some are also paid less in certain situations. Many people who are working in fast food restaurants are fighting for a raise in their pay as well as other workers' rights.

Many of these individuals who work in the fast food industry in the United States, as well as other countries, are now demonstrating and seeking a pay hike to $15 an hour. However, many industry representatives claim that such pay hikes will hurt their ability to create jobs. Recently, workers in 150 U.S. cities participated in a worldwide day of protest, claiming that their present salaries are not sufficient to take care of their families.

Louisiana to protect workers from pay discrimination

Statistics provided by the United States Census Bureau show that, on average, there is a 33 percent difference between the wages of men and women doing the same work. Research also shows that for every one dollar that Louisiana men make women make only about 67 cents, showing that there is pay discrimination in the state, and employers intentionally or unintentionally pay less to women employees.

Louisiana residents may know that this intentional pay discrimination is banned in the state since last year when the Equal Pay for Women Act became law. However, this law only protects state government workers from unintentional pay discrimination. It has now been proposed that this law be made applicable to private employers also.

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