Louisiana Leave Laws

May 8th 2024

In Louisiana, leave laws provide employees with time off for various personal and public duties. This article discusses the legal requirements employers must follow regarding employee leave in Louisiana, differentiating between mandatory and non-mandatory types of leave. It explains the specific rules and legal entitlements applicable to both private and state workers.

This Article Covers

Louisiana Required Leave
Louisiana Non-Required Leave

Louisiana Required Leave

Employers in Louisiana must offer their employees a specified amount of time off according to state and federal labor laws. The types of obligatory leave in Louisiana include:

1. Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)

  • Eligibility: Employees in Louisiana must have worked for their employer for at least one year, logged a minimum of 1,250 work hours, and worked at a location with 50 or more employees within 75 miles, to be eligible for family and medical leave (FMLA) benefits.
  • Duration: Up to 12 weeks per year.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Leave can be used for serious health conditions affecting the employee or a family member, maternity/paternity leave, or managing household duties during a family member’s military duty.

2. Jury Duty Leave

  • Eligibility: In Louisiana, employers must grant their employees a day off specifically for jury duty
  • Duration: The time required to fulfil jury service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: For serving on a jury.
  • Pay: Employees in Louisiana are entitled to their full day’s pay for the time spent on jury duty leave.

3. Emergency Response Leave

  • Eligibility: Any employee who is called upon to act as a first responder during emergency situations must be granted emergency leave by their employer. This includes medical personnel, technicians, firefighters and law enforcement officers. 
  • Duration: The time required to respond to an emergency situation. 
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To respond to emergencies.

4. Bone Marrow Leave (Private Employers)

  • Eligibility: Employees working at least 20 hours per week in companies with 20 or more employees are eligible for this type of leave. 
  • Duration: Up to 40 hours of leave, which may be extended with a valid reason communicated to the employer.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: To donate bone marrow. 
  • Pay: This leave is paid.

5. Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)

  • Eligibility: Female employees at companies with 25 or more workers may receive pregnancy disability leave (PDL).
  • Duration: Up to 6 weeks for normal pregnancies; up to 4 months for pregnancies with complications or childbirth-related medical conditions.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Maternity leave for normal childbirth and extended disability leave for complications or related medical conditions.

6. Military Leave

  • Eligibility: Employers in Louisiana must provide military leave to employees who serve in the Louisiana National Guard, militia, or other military branches.
  • Duration: The scheduled and expected duration of the service.
  • Circumstance for Utilizing Leave: Participation in military duty including training and active service.
  • Pay: Job and benefits protection as per federal and state laws; the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects members of the military and armed forces from discrimination and wrongful termination for up to one year after their reinstatement.

Louisiana Non-Required Leave

In Louisiana, the law does not require employers to provide specific types of leave unless such provisions are included in the employment contract. The following types of leave are not mandated by law:

1. Sick Leave (Private Employers)

There is no state law requiring private employers in Louisiana to provide sick leave. However, some employers may choose to offer it as part of their benefits package. When provided, sick leave policies can vary significantly between different companies. Employees should refer to their individual employment contracts or company handbooks to understand the specific terms of their sick leave entitlements.

2. Vacation Leave (Private Employers)

In Louisiana, private businesses are not required to provide vacation leave to their employees. However, they can establish policies that classify certain days as vacation time. Furthermore, if an employer decides to treat unused vacation days as payable upon termination, these must be compensated to the employee upon leaving the company.

3. Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is not regulated by law in Louisiana. Employers may decide to offer paid or unpaid leave as company policy to allow employees time to grieve the loss of a close relative, and to handle any matters related to the passing.

4. Holiday Leave

Employers are not required by law to grant their employees paid or unpaid holiday leave. Any provision of holiday leave is based on company policy and would be outlined in the employment contract or policy handbook. 

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

Learn more about the entitlements of employees in Louisiana from our guides on Your rights as a salaried employee in Louisiana, and Your rights as an hourly employee in Louisiana. You can also read about Louisiana Labor Laws in more detail through our comprehensive guide.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.