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Baton Rouge Employment Law Blog

Lack of sexual harassment policy at state level

It would be all but impossible for people in Louisiana to be unaware of the virtual onslaught of allegations around the nation involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination and other related activities. From celebrities to physicians to politicians and beyond, it seems that these problems can and do happen anywhere. Given that reality it would be logical to assume that at least at the government level, entities have put effort into educating people about these things.

Unforunately in Louisiana, the state itself has yet to develop any standardized approach to preventing acts of sexual harassment or assault among employees. It also does not have a standard process by which people can make reports of inappropriate behavior. Among the civil service there does exist a training program related to these matters but there is no requirement for any individual or agency to follow this.

Am I entitled to maternity leave in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, there are both state and federal laws that give working women who are pregnant the right to take time off when they give birth. We’ve broken down the specifics of both laws below.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

3 Reasons why employees don’t report sexual harassment

In the past year, staggering amounts of women have come forward claiming that they have been victims of sexual harassment while at work. But even with the growing number of victims stepping forward, three-quarters of women fail to report sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Here are some of the reasons why.

Steps for filing a flood insurance claim

Standard homeowner or renter's insurance does not cover flooding losses. Flood insurance is a different policy offered through the National Flood Insurance Program, but private insurance companies handle selling the policies to consumers and businesses.

According to FloodSmart.gov, NFIP's official website, those who have flood insurance and sustained damage can file a claim by following these steps:

Getting Financial Assistance after the Flood

The extent of damages created by Louisiana's August 2016 flood event boggles the mind. Five days into the event as flood waters were still making their way south, an estimated 40,000 homes and businesses were already flooded and more than 8,000 people were in shelters because they had nowhere else to go.

The financial losses that these affected businesses and individuals experience will be huge. While some who sustained damages had flood insurance, many did not because some of the areas had not flooded before. But because many of the flood-affected parishes are now federally designated disaster areas, other financial assistance may be available to those without flood insurance coverage.

MY BOSS SAYS . . . he's firing me because of something I posted on Facebook.

Employees are sometimes fired because of statements and opinions they have posted on social media. Often I receive questions about whether such terminations violate the First Amendment to the Constitution which protects the right to free speech from government restriction. However, private employers are not the government, and the First Amendment does not necessarily protect employees of private companies when those companies fire them for what they say. 

MY BOSS SAYS . . . I haven't worked long enough to get FMLA leave. What are the rules?

Sometimes a serious health condition comes up and employees need to take off from work to deal with their own condition or that of a parent, spouse, or child. The Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") was enacted to protect employees in this situation. Under the FMLA, employers must provide 12 unpaid weeks of leave per year to qualified employees. While an employee is taking that leave, the employer must protect the employee's job and must continue his or her health insurance. But certain rules apply - not every employee is protected by the FMLA.

MY BOSS SAYS . . . I'll be eligible for overtime at the end of the year due to new rules. What do the new rules say?

The Department of Labor has issued its final rule updating overtime regulations, which will automatically extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.

MY BOSS SAYS . . . I need to keep quiet about the environmental violations I've seen at work or I'll be fired.

Under state law in Louisiana, employees are protected from retaliation for disclosing or threatening to disclose environmental violations to a supervisor or a public body (such as the Department of Environmental Quality or other state or federal agency). The law also provides protection to employees who provide information to or testify before a public body that is conducting an investigation. Environmental whistleblowers are protected whether the environmental violator is their employer or another business with whom their employer has a business relationship.

MY BOSS SAYS . . . he's terminating me because of the quality of my work, but my work has always been excellent. I think he's discriminating against me because of my age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") prohibits age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. If you are under 40, the ADEA does not protect you. The ADEA only applies to employers with 20 or more employees.

Under the ADEA, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.