2012 Regular Legislative Session
The Louisiana 2012 Regular Legislative Session ended June 4. We believe that the following 12 bills, which have either been signed by Governor Jindal or are awaiting his signature, will be of interest to Louisiana employers.
House Bill 89. (ACT 168) Requires that collective bargaining agreements between public employers and employees be posted for five days on the Internet prior to acceptance or ratification.
House Bill 188. (ACT 381) Disqualifies temporary employees of staffing agencies from receiving unemployment compensation benefits if they do not contact the staffing agency for reassignment upon the conclusion of an assignment. For this disqualification to be effective, staffing firms must notify temporary employees of this requirement at the time of hire.
House Bill 295. (ACT 486) Amends R.S. 37:2950(A) to provide that no individual shall be disqualified or ruled ineligible for employment in a licensed trade or profession based solely on a prior criminal record, unless the person suffered a conviction directly related to the position being sought. The present law prohibited disqualification or ineligibility for employment because of a prior felony conviction. The status only applies to trades, occupation or professions for which a license, permit or certificate is required to be issued by the State of Louisiana or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.
House Bill 720. (ACT 414) Creates the Louisiana Hiring First Act. It sets various requirements for employers who contract with the state Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration, including that contractors enter into an agreement with the Louisiana Workforce Commission, to consider eligible persons recommended by the Commission who live within the coastal zone affected by the contract.
House Bill 746. (ACT 134) Identifies the pirogue the official boat of the state of Louisiana.
House Bill 771. (ACT 208) Requires insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders up to age 21. It deletes the lifetime maximum benefit of $144,000 and prohibits a lifetime maximum benefit.
House Bill 868/HB 1196. Extends coverage to divorcing spouses and affected dependents that lose coverage because of the familial relationship. This bill also extends the notification requirements for continuing coverage to surviving spouse, divorcing spouses and dependents who would have continuing coverage under the law.
Senate Bill 158. (ACT 148) Makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual because of any lawful act engaged in by that employee to report the sexual abuse of a minor child by any fellow employee (co-worker, supervisor, or subordinate) to law enforcement. The employee will be able to recover triple damages, attorneys' fees, and costs.
Senate Bill 252. (ACT 151) Increases the fines for employers who do not timely file payroll reports for the unemployment compensation fund.
Senate Bill 437/SB 676. (ACT 344) Amends unemployment compensation law such that, among other things, benefits will not be charged against an employer's experience rating if the employer timely files a separation notice alleging disqualification, either a response to a notice of claim filed or a response to a notice to base period employer has been filed, and the separation of the employee from the employer was determined to be under disqualifying conditions.
Senate Bill 472. Provides that "services performed by an individual for a staffing service shall be deemed to be employment" for purposes of unemployment compensation benefits. This bill also increases the fines for misclassification of employees as independent contractors for all employers.
Senate Bill 521. (ACT 667) Current law prohibits parishes and municipalities from establishing a minimum wage different from state law. This bill would extend that prohibition to include the inability to establish a mandatory, minimum number of vacation or sick leave days.