Louisiana Sick Leave Laws

One benefit to employees working full-time in Louisiana is earning leave credits usable for medical and personal purposes.

If you’re looking for employment opportunities in the Pelican State, one essential piece of information you need to know about is Louisiana sick leave laws.

Let’s explore the different subjects regarding sick leaves in Louisiana and other related topics.

Louisiana Civil Service Sick Leave Laws

According to the Civil Service Rule of Louisiana, an employee can use sick leave provided they have sufficient leave credits for the reasons listed below:

  • Employee absence due to injury or illness
  • Medical, dental, and optical consultation and treatment
  • Assertion, backed by medical paperwork, that they have to be separated from the job to prevent a contagious health risk exposure to other employees
  • Healthcare requirements of immediate family members due to a health pandemic, as indicated by the Family and Medical Leave Act

If the appointment is scheduled during work hours, employees may use their sick leave to attend it.

A recent example of the risk of assertion is the COVID-19 Health pandemic.

Annual Leave

If an employee requests annual leave, they can take an absence from duty to assist immediate family members for:

  • Illness or injury
  • Treatment and consultation of medical, optical, and dental issues

Leave granted under this provision may be utilized only with the approval of the designated representative or appointing authority.

Appointing authorities must choose a system for charging all workers’ sick leave records.

Employees must provide proper notice before taking absence to their appointing authority to avoid potential penalties.

The sick leave records minimum charge should not be less than six minutes (one-tenth hour) and won’t exceed one-half hour.

Furthermore, non-working days will not be charged for sick leave.

Enforced Sick Leave

An employee may be placed on sick leave by an appointing authority if:

  • The employee claims an incapacity to work owing to injury or illness.
  • There is a necessity to exclude the employee from the work premises to prevent the illness from spreading.

Two individuals must verify the symptoms to force an employee to take sick leave. One of them needs to be the supervisor.

The employee can return to their usual duties at the discretion of the appointing authority.

However, they need to obtain a medical certification first from a doctor or nurse who certifies that the employee’s health condition is fit for duty.

Funeral Leave

A full-time probationary or permanent employee may receive time off without losing annual or sick leave credits when attending the funeral rites of their:

  • Parents, step-parents, grandparents
  • Father and mother-in-law
  • Child, stepchild, and grandchild
  • Siblings and step-siblings
  • Spouse

The law allows up to two days of time off per occasion.

Continuance or Cancellation of Sick and Annual Leave

Once an employee is no longer part of the classified state service, all accrued sick and annual leave is canceled.

The leave that must be paid will still be honored under Rule 11.10.1.

However, the annual and sick leave will be transferred to a specific employing agency if:

  • The employee is rehired in a classified position via permanent or probational status.
  • An employer reemploys an employee in the unclassified service without a service absence of one or multiple days.

Lousiana Sick Leave Laws For Private Employees

The Louisiana Employment Task Force honors the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

It provides certain employees unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 working weeks.

If an employee cannot perform their duties because of medical reasons and their leave credits are exhausted, availing of an FMLA leave is justifiable.

To be qualified, listed below is the general employee eligibility under this law:

  • Group health benefits must be established, and employees should have at least 12 months of service in the company full-time.
  • An employee has logged 1,250 hours minimum the previous year.
  • Another criterion is if an employee has worked in a company with 50 employees or more located within 75 miles.
  • Any public or private employer has to allow an eligible employee to utilize this leave at any point during a 12-month period.

If married employees work for the same company, they are only entitled to a combined 12 weeks of leave.

For paternity and maternity purposes, here are the valid reasons defined by the Family Medical Leave Act:

  • For the employee’s newborn child’s birth and care
  • Placement of the employee’s child for adoption or foster care
  • Care requirements for an employee’s immediate family member due to a severe health condition

In Louisiana, an employer has no obligation under the law to provide leave benefits under the conditions of employment.

In most circumstances, a company has the right to include working on an official holiday on the workers’ employment contracts.

Nonetheless, employees may take advantage of the FMLA for the above reasons as long as the eligibility requirements are verified.

Companies with established policies related to outside employment could apply them to employees on FMLA leave.

However, some employment policy elements may require specific conditions from employees, such as 15 calendar days notice before taking the leave.

Since it is a law mandated by the US Department of Labor, it won’t be a factor in employment actions like disciplinary actions and promotions.

As long as the employee has provided proper notice, companies cannot penalize them.

On a side note, an employee from a military family may get additional benefits under this law.

Louisiana Family and Medical Leave Laws

In addition to the rights afforded under the FMLA, Louisiana employees have additional leave rights that allow absence from duty without penalties.

Pregnancy Disability

Companies that employ at least 25 individuals are required to provide eligible employees with a leave of absence for disability due to:

  • Pregnancy
  • Delivery
  • Related circumstances

Employers are mandated to provide a maximum of six weeks of paid leave for normal pregnancy.

If experiencing a difficult pregnancy, the law provides extra considerations.

Up to four months of paid leave are granted if experiencing more pregnancy complications or disabling pregnancies.

Small Necessities

Louisiana employers are required to provide up to 16 hours of unpaid leave for each 12-month period to employees for their children’s educational purposes.

If their work schedule makes them unable to observe, attend, or join in their children’s school activities, the Small Necessities law is applicable.

Final Thoughts

With some exceptions, you may find only a few variations between Louisiana sick leave laws and those of other states.

Read your employment contract carefully to ensure you won’t get confused with your leave benefits and other employment perks.

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