LA Employment Law Update
Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law several employment-related bills that were passed by the 2021 Legislative Session. These laws are effective August 1, 2021, so business owners should review and update their policies and practices to be in compliance.
How will new legislation affect LA employers?
- House Bill 459, now Act 474 requires employers to file occupational information in addition to contribution and wage reports with the Louisiana Workforce Commission.
- House Bill 707, now Act 406 prevents most employers from requesting or considering an applicant’s arrest record or charges that did not result in a conviction if such information was received in the course of a background check.
If an employer does consider an applicant’s criminal history, it must make an individual assessment of whether the applicant’s criminal history has a “direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job that may justify denying the applicant the position.”
- House Bill 151, now Act 455 increases the penalties for misclassification of an employee as an independent contractor and provides a series of criteria to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor rather than an employee. In addition to any contributions, interest and penalties otherwise due, administrative penalties may be assessed from up to $5,000 per individual for the first misclassification, up to $10,000 per individual for a second misclassification, and up to $25,000 per individual for subsequent misclassification.
- Senate Bill 215, now Act 393 amends the state Pregnancy Discrimination Act by expanding an employer’s obligation to accommodate an applicant or employee with limitations caused by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions such as: making temporary modifications to physical conditions, altering schedules, break and food schedules, policies and transferring the employee to a less demanding position. In order to refuse a reasonable accommodation, an employer will be required to prove that doing so would impose an undue hardship on its business operations.
Employers will be required to provide all current employees with written notice of their rights under the Act by December 1, 2021. Written notice must be provided to new employees upon hire. In addition, this notice must be posted in the workplace.
- HB 183, now Act 65 ends federal disaster unemployment benefits effective July 31, 2021, and increases the maximum weekly state unemployment benefit to $312 effective January 1, 2022.
An HR professional can help you stay compliant with both state and federal laws.
From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.
For more information about our accounting and human resource services, contact Next Level Solutions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 330-8347.