Louisiana News & Analysis

  • 2019 Louisiana legislative session: a nonevent for private-sector employers

    This year's regular session of the Louisiana Legislature ended June 6. None of the big-ticket bills involving LGBT+ discrimination, paid family and medical leave, or a state minimum wage survived. Only two employment-related bills passed—and both apply only to public-sector employers.

  • Employers must act on complaints of discrimination or harassment

    A recent decision from the federal court in New Orleans illustrates the risks of not conducting a detailed investigation when an employee makes an internal discrimination or harassment complaint. It's imperative to take steps to investigate such complaints in an expedient manner and implement remedial measures if the complaint is valid. Otherwise, you subject your organization to an unpredictable jury trial and the possibility of a large judgment.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • Agency Action

    NLRB reveals rulemaking plans. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in May announced its rulemaking priorities, which include proceeding with its rulemaking on a standard for joint employment. The Board's agenda also includes plans for rulemaking in the following areas: representation-case procedures; standards for blocking charges, voluntary recognition, and the formation of bargaining relationships in the construction industry; the standard for determining whether students who perform services at private colleges or universities in connection with their studies should be considered employees; and standards for access to an employer's private property.

  • Workplace Trends

    Think you've made a hire? Maybe not. A survey from staffing firm Robert Half shows that more than a quarter of workers (28%) have backed out of a job offer after accepting the position. Why would a jobseeker do that? The survey says 44% of those changing their minds backed out after receiving a better offer from another company. For 27%, a counteroffer from their current employer led to the change of heart. In 19% of the cases, the jobseeker reported hearing bad things about the company after receiving the offer. The cities where jobseekers are more likely to renege are San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Austin, and Miami.

  • LA bill banning sexual orientation and gender identity bias still alive—barely

    The 2019 regular session of the Louisiana Legislature is now in full swing. All of the prefiled employment-related bills we reported in the May issue are still alive, although some are stalled in committee, including a bill that would expand the state antidiscrimination law to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The outlook for the bills seeking to increase the state minimum wage and mandate paid family and medical leave also remains in doubt. Let's take a look at what our lawmakers have been up to since our last report.

  • Facebook post lands HR manager in hot water

    Building on its reassertion that Title VII doesn't cover sexual orientation, the federal appeals court in New Orleans recently ruled there is no protection for employees who complain about perceived sexual orientation bias either. An HR manager who posted her opinions on Facebook about a man trying on a dress—and was subsequently fired for unsatisfactory job performance—couldn't make a case for retaliation under Title VII. Why? Her complaint that she was being mistreated because of her sexual orientation (heterosexual) didn't constitute protected activity. Let's take a closer look at what happened.

  • Supreme Court will decide whether LGBT discrimination is unlawful

    The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the long-unresolved question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The issue has been percolating in the lower courts for quite a while. As it frequently does, the Court declined to consider the question until there was a conflict between several appellate courts. Let's take a look at the history of the Court's decisions, the arguments on both sides of the issue, and what we can expect next.

  • Love lost in litigation—when is reinstatement an appropriate remedy?

    Hostility and acrimony incidental to litigation aren't enough to limit an employee's right to reinstatement under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 5th Circuit recently explained. Let's see what led to that result.

  • What if employee's feet stink? Answers to common and not-so-common workplace issues

    Q A new employee has a significant odor problem. He says the cause is a foot infection, but he isn't eligible for benefits yet and is putting off going to the doctor. Are we crossing any lines by requiring him to see a doctor?