Louisiana Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

Louisiana Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law prohibits employers with 20 or more employees working within the state within the current or preceding calendar year from intentionally discriminating with respect to sex (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 23:332). Sexual discrimination includes sexual harassment.
A Louisiana state court affirmed a ruling in favor of two employees who alleged that repeated harassment by company executives created a hostile work environment (Bergeron v. Smith & Assocs., 986 So.2d 258 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2008)). In this case, the employees did not report the harassment because the employer did not have a complaint procedure and because the only other manager was the daughter of one of the alleged harassers. In affirming the decision, the court cited evidence of off-color jokes, sexual propositions, and sexual innuendos. It also noted that the employer did not exercise reasonable care to prevent or correct harassing behavior because it failed to provide a reasonable complaint procedure for reporting inappropriate conduct.
Practical tip: Employers may be able to limit their liability and prevent harassment by establishing a strong policy against harassment and clearly communicating their complaint procedure to employees. Training supervisors to prevent harassment and to handle complaints appropriately may also help employers avoid discrimination claims.
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Retaliation. State laws prohibit retaliation against employees who file discrimination complaints based on age (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 23:312(D)) or sickle-cell trait (LA Rev. Stat. Sec. 23:352(D)). Retaliation claims for other types of discrimination complaints are not covered under the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, according to a state ...

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