Ogletree Deakins • April 10, 2018
The Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit recently held that a pregnant employee who suffered from a pregnancy-related illness was not disabled within the scope and meaning of the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (LEDL). According to the court, the employee had failed to establish that her illness qualified as a disability under state law. Brown v. The Blood Center, No. 2017-CA-0750 (March 15, 2018).
Ogletree Deakins • April 04, 2018
On March 23, 2018, in a 4–3 decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to consider Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’s appeal of the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal’s November 1, 2017, decision holding that Governor Edwards lacked the constitutional authority to issue an executive order protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) state employees from discrimination. More specifically, the Louisiana Supreme Court let stand the First Circuit’s ruling that Executive Order JBE 2016 – 11, which sought to protect the rights of LGBT individuals and other protected classes from discrimination by Louisiana agencies, departments, and contractors was unconstitutional.
Ogletree Deakins • March 14, 2018
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana’s grant of summary judgment under the Louisiana whistleblower law, Louisiana Revised Statutes section 23:967, in favor of an employer that transferred an employee to a less desirable location after revealing concerns about her employer’s handling of a diabetic student. Rayborn v. Bossier Parish School Board, No. 16-30903 (February 2, 2018).
Ogletree Deakins • February 14, 2018
The Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal has held that painters may be treated as independent contractors if they bring some of their own tools, control their own schedules, and make decisions on how to complete the work for which they have been hired.
Ogletree Deakins • December 13, 2017
On December 1, 2017, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) appealed a state appellate court decision holding that Executive Order JBE 2016 – 11, which seeks to protect the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender individuals, and other protected classes from discrimination by Louisiana agencies, departments and contractors was unconstitutional.
Ogletree Deakins • November 28, 2017
Workplace harassment is one of the many problems that Louisiana employers may encounter. The national media has recently published several stories concerning high-profile cases of sexual predation and harassment. In addition, stories have surfaced in Southeast Louisiana of allegedly rampant sexual harassment at a New Orleans-based restaurant group. While recent media accounts have focused on sexual harassment, harassment may also be based on disability, religion, age, race, gender, and a variety of other traits. While employers can entirely erase the risk of unlawful harassment in a particular workplace, there are well-established methods of preventing harassment and addressing harassment claims if they do arise.
Jones Walker • November 15, 2017
May an employer enforce a contract provision that forbids an employee to leave and take another job that would require him to use or reveal the employer’s confidential information? In Louisiana, maybe not, unless the agreement complies with Louisiana’s non-compete statute, La. Rev. Stat. § 23:921.
Jones Walker • November 13, 2017
On October 25, 2017, the Louisiana Workforce Commission (“LWC”) issued a press release acknowledging the efforts of a task force which combats the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The task force, known as “Government Against Misclassified Employees Operational Network” (“GAME ON”), is made up of members of the LWC’s Unemployment Insurance and Office of Workers’ Compensation divisions and the Louisiana Department of Revenue, with cooperative agreements with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Wage & Hour Division.
Ogletree Deakins • November 03, 2017
In April of 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed Executive Order JBE 2016 – 11, which sought to protect lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender individuals, among other protected classes, from discrimination practiced by state contractors. Months later, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and others challenged the order in a lawsuit filed in East Baton Rouge Parish that sought a permanent injunction, as well as a declaratory judgment that the executive order violated state law.
Ogletree Deakins • June 23, 2017
Answering a question certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that the term “good faith,” as used in the whistleblower section of the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act (LEQA), refers to “an employee … acting with an honest belief that a violation of an environmental law, rule, or regulation occurred.” The case is particularly instructive because the phrase “good faith” is used in Louisiana’s general anti-reprisal statute.