Who is an at-will employee in Louisiana?

Louisiana citizen often have jobs in order to earn some money. While there are other reasons that people work, their paycheck is often an important part of the equation. Without their job, many people couldn't afford to meet their basic needs. This is why a termination can be so devastating to many people. They are suddenly left without a way to support themselves or their families.

In these situations, people may wonder if their employer had the right to terminate them. Under Louisiana law, at-will termination is standard. This means that employers have the right to fire a person for any reason, at any time. Under this law, employers have no obligation to explain why they are terminating an employee.

However, this rule does not apply in a couple of situations. One, if an employee is a union member, and a collective-bargaining agreement is in place, then the employer may be limited in its ability to fire the employee. Additionally, if an employee has been hired under an employment contract for a specific length of time, then the employer may not have the ability to fire the person.

There are exceptions to at-will termination under state and federal laws. These exceptions prohibit the employer from firing an employee for discriminatory reasons -- because of a person's religion, race, disability, age or sex, for example. These laws also prohibit employers from terminating an employee in retaliation for filing certain complaints, participating in union activities or whistleblowing.

If an employee is terminated for any of the prohibited reasons, the person may have been wrongfully terminated and entitled to damages. Specific legal advice, which this post cannot provide, is necessary in these situations.

Source: Louisiana State Bar Association, "Rights of the Fired Employee - Employment At-Will," Accessed Oct. 12, 2104

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