As we enter Louisiana’s 2016 Regular Legislative Session, here is our recap of several bills we’ve identified which may impact our community.
Louisiana Non-Discrimination Act: SB 332 by Sen. J.P. Morrell and HB 501 by Rep. Patricia Smith updates almost 70 existing non-discrimination laws, in areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, and more, to include sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, sex, disability and age.
Louisiana Equal Pay Act: SB 254 by Sen. J.P. Morrell and HB 397 by Reps. Helena Moreno, Kenny Cox, Marcus Hunter. These bills amend the existing Equal Pay for Women Act that currently protects only state government employees so it will protect all public and private employees. They require that all employees be compensated equally for work that is the same or comparable.
Employment Non-discrimination Act: HB 925. Not yet assigned by Rep. Joseph Bouie updates employment protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
Pastor Protection Act: HB 597 by Rep. Mike Johnson is unnecessary under existing state and federal law as it “seeks to protect religious organizations from being penalized for refusing services that would otherwise violate their “sincerely held religious belief” on marriage. We are seeking friendly amendments to alter the language to ensure the intent of the legislation does not overreach it’s purpose.
Senate Bill 288 by Sen. Conrad Appel could violate Louisiana’s Home Rule Charter and directly impact protections for LGBT persons in public contracts.
LA HB 542 by Rep. Hodges was WITHDRAWN prior to session. It had sought to regulate which bathrooms a transgender person could utilize. We will continue to monitor this bill to ensure it is not re-filed in some other form/fashion prior to final April 4th deadline.