Louisiana Leave Laws




Vacation Leave

In Louisiana, employers are not required to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide such benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

An employer cannot refuse to pay accrued or earned vacation to employees upon separation from employment merely because they were terminated, regardless of the reason. See Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998).



Accrued or earned vacation must be paid to an employee upon separation from employment if the company policy or employment contract is silent on the matter. See Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998).

Louisiana courts are split regarding whether an employer can refuse to pay an employee accrued or earned vacation upon separation from employment if the employee fails to comply with certain conditions, such as giving two weeks notice. See e.g., Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998) (Supreme Court refused to explicitly state any restriction on payment of wages upon separation from employment was unlawful, but cited favorably to those cases that do); Lee v. Katz and Bestoff, Inc., 479 So.2d 459 (La. App. 1st Cir. 1985) (employer cannot place restrictions on employees to receive payment for accrued vacation). Contra., e.g., Huddleston v. Dillard Department Store, 638 So.2d 383 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1994) and Landry v. Pauli’s, Inc., 496 So.2d 431 (La. App. 5th Cir. 1986) (employers can place restrictions on employees when paying out accrued vacation upon separation from employment).

An employer may cap the amount of vacation leave an employee may accrue over time. See Wyatt v. Avoyelles Parish School Board, 831 So.2d 906 (La. Sup. Ct. 2002); Beard v. Summit Institute of Pulmonary Medicine, 707 So.2d 1233 (La. Sup. Ct. 1998).

An employer may implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy requiring employees to use their leave by a set date or lose it. See Wyatt v. Avoyelles Parish School Board, 831 So.2d 906 (La. Sup. Ct. 2002).



Sick Leave

Louisiana law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. An employer in Louisiana may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.



Holiday Leave

Louisiana law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Louisiana, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays. A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

State holidays

Visit our Louisiana State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Louisiana as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.



Jury Duty Leave

Louisiana prohibits an employer from discharging or taking any other adverse employment action against an employee for being called to serve or serving jury duty, so long as the employee gives the employer reasonable notice of the jury obligation after receiving the summons. Employers who unlawfully discharge employees for serving jury duty may be subject to fines of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000, for each discharge and may be ordered to reinstate the employee with the same wage rate and benefits they enjoyed prior to the discharge. Louisiana Stat. 23:965.

When employees are called or subpoenaed to server on a state petit or grand jury, or central jury pool, the employer is required to pay up to one (1) days wages and the employee cannot be required to take any vacation, sick, or other accrued personal leave while responding to the call or subpoena. Employers who unlawfully discharge employees for serving jury duty may be subject to fines of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000, for each discharge and may be ordered pay the employee one day’s wages without reduction in vacation, sick, or other personal leave. Louisiana Stat. 23:965.



Voting Leave

Louisiana does not have a law which requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.



Bereavement Leave

Louisiana law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.