August 2021 Louisiana HR Legal Updates

Louisiana Fair Chance Law Restricts Criminal History Consideration

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Louisiana.

What happened?
On June 16, 2021, Governor Edwards signed HB 707 (Act 406) into law.

What are the details?
The law, effective August 1, 2021, amends the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (LEDL) to include fair chance requirements to employers with 20 or more employees in Louisiana that also conduct background checks on candidates during pre-hire.

The law implements the three main obligations to employers below:

  • Employers are prohibited from requesting or considering arrests or charges that did not result in a conviction.
  • Employers must conduct an “individual assessment” to determine whether a candidate’s criminal history has “a direct and adverse relationship” to the specific duties of the position at issue. In conducting this assessment, the employer must consider the following factors:
    • The nature and gravity of the offense or conduct.
    • The time that has elapsed since the offense, conduct, or conviction.
    • The nature of the job sought.
  • Employers are required to provide candidates with copies of their background check reports if a candidate submits a written request for this information. Notably, employers must make this information available upon request, regardless of the result of the hiring decision.

The law can be read here.

An article on the law can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the law and their hiring processes/protocols and make any applicable changes to stay in compliance.

_________________________________________________________________________________

New Orleans Requires Proof of Vaccination

Update Applicable to:
Employers in New Orleans.

What happened?
On August 13, 2021, Mayor Cantrell and the New Orleans Health Department released updated COVID-19 guidelines for Reopening.

What are the details?
Effective August 23, 2021, the guidelines require individuals to provide proof of having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entry in order to access certain indoor establishments. These indoor facilities include:

  • bars, restaurants, and breweries.
  • gyms, group fitness centers, and individual fitness classes.
  • entertainment and performance venues, such as indoor sports stadiums, concert halls, event spaces, pool halls, bowling alleys, arcades, adult live performance venues, casinos, racetracks, and video poker establishments.

The guidelines apply to all individuals who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and individuals can provide proof of vaccination with an original CDC vaccination card or a digital picture or photocopy of both sides of the card. Individuals may also show an electronic record of COVID-19 vaccination through the LA Wallet smartphone app or an equivalent electronic record provided by another state.

The guidelines can be read here.

An article on the updated guidelines can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the guidelines and their applicable policies to make updates to stay in compliance with the new requirements to the above-listed indoor facilities.

July 2021 Louisiana HR Legal Updates

Louisiana Employers Required to Provide Pregnancy Accommodations

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Louisiana.

What happened?
On June 17, 2021, Governor John Bel Edwards signed Senate Bill 215 (SB215) into law.

What are the details?
Effective August 1, 2021, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees who need them due to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless it would pose an undue hardship on the employer.

The statute does clarify that employers are not required to create positions (including light duty) that don’t already exist unless the employer does so for other employees who need the accommodations. Also, it is not required for an employer to discharge or “bump” another employee to make accommodations.

The new statute provides examples of possible reasonable accommodations, including:

  • Making facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by an applicant or employee (however, an employer is not required to construct a permanent, dedicated space for expressing milk).
  • Providing more frequent breaks.
  • Providing light duty, if available.
  • Acquiring or modifying equipment devices necessary for performing essential functions.
  • Modifying work schedules.

The new law does not change an employer’s existing obligations to provide a reasonable leave of absence of at least six weeks for a normal pregnancy or childbirth or for a period of time that an employee is disabled on account of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions not to exceed four months.

Employers are also prohibited from refusing to select a pregnant worker for a training program that leads to a promotion as long as the employee can complete the program at least three months prior to her pregnancy leave. An employer is also prohibited from discharging a pregnant worker from employment or to discriminate against her in compensation or in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Employers must notify existing employees about the new requirements by December 1, 2021 and new employees must be notified at the commencement of employment. The notification must be posted in a conspicuous area that is accessible to employees.

The bill can be read here.

An article on the bill can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the bill here and information above to update any applicable workplace policies to remain in compliance with the new accommodation law.

April 2021 Louisiana HR Legal Updates

New EIC Notice Released

Update Applicable to:
All Louisiana employers with 20 or more employees.

What happened?
Louisiana has released the new 2021 Earned Income Credit Notice (EIC).

What are the details?
Louisiana employers with 20 or more employers will need to post the EIC poster in their workplace and provide it to any new hires.

The legislation creating this requirement can be found here.

The new poster can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Louisiana employers should display the notice in the workplace where they display their other required workplace posters and distribute the new notice to all new hires for the year.