The Louisiana Supreme Court has not addressed whether a claim under the Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act (LUTSA) precludes a claim for conversion of confidential information. But the U.S. Fifth Circuit recently did in Brad Services, LLC v. Irex Corporation, No. 17-30660 (October 17, 2018), finding that these conversion claims are not preempted.
Articles Discussing General Topics In Louisiana Labor & Employment Law.
And now it’s Louisiana’s turn! After several states recently enacted or strengthened existing data breach notification laws (Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota and Alabama just to name a few…), on May 20th , Louisiana Governor John Edwards signed an amendment to the state’s Database Security Breach Notification Law (Act 382) which will take effect August 1, 2018.
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.
In mid-September, the IRS announced income tax relief for individuals who donate through their employers to aid victims of the Louisiana storms that began on August 11, 2016. See IRS Notice 2016-55 (Sept. 16, 2016). To get this special relief — similar to that provided for leave donation aid given after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Sandy, and the Ebola outbreak in Africa — an employer must establish a leave-based donation program (a “Leave Donation Program”). Under that program, employees forego their vacation, sick, or personal leave and ask the employer instead to make a cash-equivalent donation to charitable organizations aiding those victims from the Louisiana storms.
On August 14, 2016, President Obama declared a major disaster in the State of Louisiana due to the severe storms and flooding that took place in several State parishes (“Louisiana Storms”). Following the declaration, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance postponing certain tax filings and payment deadlines for taxpayers who reside or work in the disaster area. The relief also provides qualifying individuals with expanded access to their retirement plan assets to alleviate hardships caused by the Louisiana Storms. Below is a summary of the filing extension for the Form 5500 series and administrative changes that employers can make to expedite plan loans and hardship distributions to Louisiana Storm victims.
In IronTiger Logistics, Inc. v. NLRB, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the NLRB’s policy of requiring employers to timely respond to union requests for “presumptively relevant” information (i.e., information relating to bargaining unit employees), but required the Board to explain why specific requests were presumptively relevant. The court also directed the Board to consider an employer’s defenses to union requests for information, including whether the requests were made for improper purposes.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law the Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act. The Act prohibits employers and schools in Louisiana from requesting or requiring access to the personal e-mail, social media and other types of online accounts of employees and job applicants. It also prohibits schools from demanding access to the personal e-mail, social media and other types of online accounts of students and prospective students.
Under new law signed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, employers are prohibited from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise discriminating against veterans for taking time off from work to attend medical appointments necessary to obtain veteran’s benefits. The new law takes effect on August 1, 2013.
An “accommodation of underlings” was not a reasonable accommodation as a matter of law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, affirming summary judgment in favor of the employer in a disability discrimination case under the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law. Bell v. Hercules Lifeboat Co., No. 12-30843 (5th Cir. Apr. 11, 2013) (unpublished). The Court held that an employee who could perform the essential functions of her position only by delegating them to two subordinates failed to establish she was an “otherwise qualified disabled person.”
An employer’s dispute resolution program, stating that it was not “intended to violate or restrict any rights of employees guaranteed by state or federal laws,” did not give rise to the right to a jury trial, and so an employee was required to submit his age discrimination claim to binding arbitration, a federal appeals court in New Orleans has held under Louisiana contract law. Klein v. Nabors Drilling USA, L.P., No. 11-30824 (5th Cir. Feb. 26, 2013). The Court found that the quoted language meant simply the employee would maintain his substantive statutory rights in the arbitration proceeding. Therefore, the Court reversed the lower court’s order denying arbitration with instructions to grant the employer’s motion to compel arbitration.
The Louisiana legislature recently passed two laws aimed at immigration compliance which have the effect of: (1) requiring employers and subcontractors that do business with the State to use E-Verify; and (2) giving employers that are not required to use E-Verify a â€œsafe harborâ€ from immigration penalties if they choose to use E-Verify. Both bills were signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal on July 6th, 2011, and will take effect on August 15th, 2011. So Louisiana employers have a little less than a month to prepare for compliance.
The Louisiana State Legislature has passed two laws aimed at deterring the employment of unauthorized aliens. HB 342 would prohibit state contractors from bidding or contracting for state work without first submitting an affidavit attesting that they will use the federal E-Verify program to verify the legal work status of workers throughout the project. It also would require the contractor to obtain sworn statements from their subcontractors attesting to the use of E-Verify. Failure to complete the affidavit or use E-Verify as required would cause the work to be terminated and bar the contractor from future bidding or contract work for up to three years.
Labor & Employment attorney H. Mark Adams has authored an article on the impact the recent general elections will have on Louisiana employers.