In Louisiana, laws exist that dictate the process employers must follow when they decide to move forward with the termination of an employee. For example, employers are not allowed to fire an employee because he or she is disabled or because he or she was born in a different country. When employers violate any one of these laws, the employee has the right to bring a legal case forth against the employer.
At-will Employment in Louisiana
Employers in Louisiana are required to adhere to the state’s at-will employment doctrine. Under these laws, employers are allowed to terminate any employee at any time and for any reason, as long as a contract or another statute governing the employer-employee relationship does not exist. Although these laws do give employers the termination flexibility, there are still laws that limit their ability to terminate an employee under specific circumstances.
Wrongful Termination in Louisiana
The state of Louisiana recognizes several different exceptions to their at-will employment doctrine. Due to these laws, employers who wrongfully fire an employee violate employment law and may find themselves involved in a lawsuit. An employee who files a lawsuit on the basis of wrongful termination may be able to obtain many different types of compensation, such as compensation for punitive damages, and regain his or her position.
Breach of Contract: Employers in Louisiana are not allowed to terminate an employee for any reason or for no reason at all if there is an employment contract in place. There are three types of employment contracts that are recognized in the state, which include written, oral and implied contracts. When a written or oral contract is in place, stipulations are outlined that determine when an employee can be let go. Comparatively, when an implied contract is in place, employers act in a way that creates a reasonable expectation an employee will continue to hold his or her position. For instance, if certain terms or phrases in an employment handbook specify conditions of employment, an implied contract may be in place.
Discrimination: In Louisiana and on the federal level, employers are not permitted to let go of an employee on the basis of sex, religion, age, national origin, color, genetic information, citizenship status or sickle cell trait. These anti-discrimination laws apply to employers in the state who have at least 20 employees. In addition to these laws, employers in the state with 25 employees or more are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of childbirth, pregnancy or other related conditions.
Retaliation: The same laws that make it illegal for employers in Louisiana to discriminate against their employees also prohibit them from retaliating against workers who assert their rights. For instance, if an employee issues a complaint to human resources stating that he or she was passed over for a promotion because of his or her race, the employer would not be allowed to terminate or fire him or her because of the complaint. Employers are also not allowed to retaliate against employees who participate in the investigation of a discriminatory complaint, testify in court or put forth any other efforts to end discrimination in the workplace.
Public Policy: Certain laws in Louisiana exist that give employees the right to take off work for personal responsibilities and civic obligations. As such, employers are not allowed to terminate or discipline an employee who exercises these rights. For instance, in Louisiana, employees are allowed to take leave for jury duty, and the first day of their service must be paid. If employers penalize an employee in any way for fulfilling this public duty, they may have to pay a fine. Other policies exist that protect employees serving in the military, those who suffer from a medical condition and those who have children who need to attend school conferences and other activities.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.