Wage and Hour Laws in Louisiana | Current Louisiana Labor Laws

Minimum Wage

Louisiana has not established a minimum wage rate.

For more information on Louisiana’s minimum wage laws, visit our Louisiana Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


Louisiana labor laws do not have laws governing the payment of overtime. Federal overtime laws apply. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

Prevailing Wages

Louisiana does not have a prevailing wage law that governs wage rates on government project or service contracts.

Under certain circumstances, employers in Louisiana may be required to pay residents wage rates established by federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the federal and state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain government services. See the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Meals and Breaks

Louisiana labor laws require employers to provide a meal period to employees under the age of eighteen (18) years who are scheduled to work five (5) consecutive hours. The meal period does not need to be paid. LA Statute 23: 213.

Louisiana does not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees eighteen (18) years of age or older, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.

Nursing Mother Breaks

Louisiana labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.

Nursing mother employees must ensure to time their breast milk extraction with their scheduled breaks. Any extra break time an employee used to extract breast milk is considered unpaid leave time. Also, they must inform their immediate supervisor or other personnel of their intention to use the provided facility.

The employer is not required to spend an additional amount on constructing a private lactation room for the nursing mother employees.

Nursing mothers may breastfeed a baby in any public accommodation, amusement, or resort without violating any law, including obscenity laws. The enforcement of the law is left under the Commission on Human Rights.

Leave Laws

Vacation Leave

Louisiana law does not ask employers to give their workers paid or unpaid vacation leave. If a company decides to enforce the benefits, they should be stated under the employment contract. There are rulings about the rollover policy.

For an employee to get paid for his unused vacation time, statutory provisions state that he must have accrued vacation time and be eligible to use it at resignation or discharge. Employers can also enforce the use-it-or-lose-it policy about accrued vacation time.

Under the statute, employers need to pay accumulated vacation leave of an employee upon separation from the company regardless of the reason.

Sick Leave

Louisiana has no labor law demanding employers from the private sector to provide paid or unpaid sick leave benefits to their employees. Even so, many employers in the private sector offer sick leave as an essential employee benefit.

A Louisiana employer may be asked to provide unpaid sick leave to its employees according to some federal laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Holiday Leave

Employers from the private sector may ask their employees to report for work during holidays. They are not required to give them premium pay unless they worked under the standard overtime hours.

If an employer decides to offer holiday leave, whether paid or unpaid, the employment contract or company policy must indicate that information.

Jury Duty Leave

Louisiana labor law forbids the employer from taking any adverse employment action toward an employee called to serve on jury duty. However, the employee must inform the employer in advance after receiving the summons.

An employer who discharges an employee unlawfully for doing his jury duty may be charged with fines between $100 and $1,000 for each discharge. Also, employers may be required to reinstate the worker, giving him the same benefits and wage rates before being discharged.

Voting Leave

No Louisiana labor law requires an employer to give its employees voting leave, whether paid or unpaid.

If you want to learn about Louisiana vacation, sick, holiday and other leave laws, here’s a detailed guide.

Severance Pay

Louisiana labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Under certain circumstances, Louisiana residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Louisiana State Unemployment Benefits.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission determines and handles eligibility and benefits case-to-case basis. Applicants, before unemployment, must have earned a minimum amount from their wages. Also, the reason for his unemployment must not be his fault based on Louisiana law.

Lastly, applicants must be able and willing to work while actively looking for another job.

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