Louisiana Overtime & Labor Laws
The state of Louisiana has not enacted its own laws regarding overtime pay or minimum wage. As a result, there are no specific Louisiana overtime laws and workers in Louisiana are only protected by the federal wage and hour regulations contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
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Although there are no Louisiana overtime laws, under the FLSA, overtime pay equal to time and a half is required for all non-exempt employees for hours worked over 40 during a single workweek Louisiana is home to numerous industries in which overtime pay violations have been found and from which millions of dollars have been recovered for workers. Many instances of overtime rules and wage violations have occurred in the wake of natural disasters such as hurricanes and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The following are a few examples:
Workers paid a set day-rate and no overtime, even though they work over 40 hours per week
- Oil spill related workers who are paid straight time for overtime
- IT / Tech Support workers who are not computer programmers are paid hourly straight time for all hours worked over 40 per week
- Workers who are treated as “independent contractors” instead of employees to avoid paying them time and a half for overtime
- Professional employees who are paid on an hourly basis, instead of a salary, and not paid overtime
- Non-exempt workers who are paid a “salary” and no overtime, even though they work over 40 hours per week
Recovering Overtime Pay
When employees working in Louisiana do not receive full and proper payment of their overtime wages, they can assert a claim to recover:
- all unpaid overtime for two or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit,
- an award of “liquidated damages” equal to the amount of the unpaid overtime – meaning workers can recover double the amount of unpaid overtime owed, and
- attorney’s fees and expenses.
Statute of Limitations
For overtime claims, the statute of limitations is the same as under Federal Law – claims can be made for the prior 2 years (3 years if the violation is willful).
Louisiana Minimum Wage
Since Louisiana has no state minimum wage law, employees in Louisiana are entitled to receive either the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour or any local minimum wage if it is higher than the rate set by federal law.
Meal Breaks & Rest Periods
Louisiana does not require employers to provide lunch or rest breaks.
However, you are entitled to be paid if you have to do any work during a break (for example, if you have to cover the phones while you eat lunch). And, generally, you are entitled to be paid for any short breaks (five to 20 minutes) your employer provides; this time is considered part of your work day.