Wrongful termination can be a frustrating and life-disrupting occurrence. Fortunately for those with employment in Louisiana, the state has enacted a number of laws that can help protect workers for wrongful termination. Wrongful termination is any situation where an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason. Legal reasons for termination include misconduct such as sexual harassment or failure to adhere to the employer’s standards including such things as tardiness and work performance. Illegal reasons for termination, and how to help protect yourself, are detailed below.
Like most states, Louisiana is an “At-Will” employment state. This means that employers can terminate their workers for any reason at any time, although there are thankfully a number of exceptions to this rule. One major exception is that an employer can’t terminate a worker based on their age, race, sex, nationality, or disabilities. This type of discrimination is flat-out illegal. Discrimination is also prevented against people’s political ideologies or voting practices. A couple of additional clauses also protect employees who: are called to military service or jury duty, are subject to wage garnishment, or those file a worker’s compensation claim.
Employment is Louisiana is also protected by a law called the “Whistle-Blower’s Law.” This law protects employees who point out to their employer that they are in violation of the law and report or threaten to report the employer. It also protects workers who refuse perform an illegal action that their employers asks them to do from wrongful termination.
For cases of discrimination in employment in Louisiana, the state has formed a special commission called The Louisiana Commission on Human Rights. This commission hears cases regarding discrimination based on age, sex, disability, pregnancy, sickle-cell trait and other medical problem. Assuming that the employer against which the complaint is filed has enough employees and meets other criteria, the commission will adjudicate the case.
It’s important to understand what things are considered discriminatory before you think about filing a claim. When seeking employment in Louisiana, employers are allowed to ask certain questions that may seem discriminatory, but are actually entirely legal. Such questions include queries relating to a person’s criminal record and eligibility for employment in the United States. These issues behind these questions have legal repercussions that could preclude you from working in the state, and so they must be asked.