Preferential treatment required for pregnancy leave. Louisiana is one of only a few states that requires preferential treatment for pregnant employees with regard to time off. The Louisiana Fair Employment Practices (FEP) Act requires employers to give unpaid leave for a reasonable length of time, not greater than 4 months, to employees who are disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, even if similar leaves are not granted for other temporary disabilities. The employee may use up any accrued vacation leave. Six weeks of leave must be granted for a “normal” pregnancy, and up to 4 months for more seriously disabling pregnancies. Employers may require “reasonable” notice of the date the leave is to begin and the estimated duration of the leave. The requirements on pregnancy discrimination cover only employers with more than 25 employees for 20 or more weeks within the current or preceding calendar years, although most other provisions of the FEP Act cover employers with 20 or more employees (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 23.341).
Family leave. Some states have laws that require employers to give male as well as female employees time off for the birth of a child, but Louisiana does not have such a law. However, Louisiana employers with 50 or more employees may have family leave obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).