Louisiana employers must follow laws mandated by various federal and state agencies regarding employees and their working conditions. If an employer does not follow the applicable laws, an employee can contact the state or national agency that governs the situation for assistance in resolving the violation.
Louisiana Wage and Hour Laws
Although the state does not have a separate minimum wage law, Louisiana employers must comply with the federal minimum wage. As of 2015, this rate was $7.25 per hour. Louisiana law requires employers to give minor employees an unpaid meal break if they work five or more hours. Although employers are not required to provide rest breaks for adult employees, if they choose to do so, these breaks must be paid.
Louisiana Wage and Hour Compliants
If any of the state wage and hour laws are violated, contact the New Orleans field office at 504-589-6171. Alternatively, you can contact the national Department of Labor Wage and Hour hotline at 866-487-9243. The DoL has the power to investigate your employer and order it to take whatever action the DoL deems necessary, such as paying back pay.
Louisiana vests the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights with the power to adjudicate cases involving workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, pregnancy, sickle cell trait or disability. For most cases, an employer must have at least 20 employees for a claimant to bring a case under this set of laws and the last act giving rise to the claim must have occurred within 180 days. Contact the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights at 225-342-6969.
To bring a similar claim under federal law, a Louisiana employee can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1-800-669-4000 and request to be put in touch with the New Orleans field office. Federal law allows claims for employers with 15 or more employees.
Workplace Safety Complaints
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a federal agency that establishes workplace safety rules. It attempts to prevent work-related injuries by setting safety standards and offering outreach, education and compliance assistance. All employees have the right to file a complaint about any violations, suspected violations or hazardous conditions in the workplace. Once a complaint is filed, an OSHA official will inspect the workplace and investigate any concerns.
Employers must comply with OSHA standards and must fix any problems identified by OSHA during their inspection. Otherwise, the company could be hit with fines and other penalties.
The Baton Rouge area office can be contacted at 225-298-5458. Individuals can also file a complaint online through the federal OSHA website or by downloading a complaint form and mailing it to the Baton Rouge office at 9100 Bluebonnet Centre Blvd, Suite 201, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809.
Louisiana employees may have other complaints other than those listed above, such as those regarding a union contract, child labor laws or other working conditions. They can contact the United States Department of Labor at 1-866-487-9243 to be directed to the appropriate agency. Additionally, employees may wish to retain private legal counsel for assistance. Louisiana has several legal aid options available, based on the employee's location and income.