The term civil rights refers to the rights of all individuals to receive equal protection under the law, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or other characteristics. Federal civil rights protections, such as those enumerated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, extend to residents of all states. But many states provide additional protections either for additional classes (such as gender or race) or which protect more people than federal law. For instance, federal anti-discrimination laws only apply to private employers with 15 or more employees.
A protected class is a characteristic -- such as a disability or skin color -- that cannot be targeted for discrimination. In the context of employment, someone fired or passed over for a promotion because she is a woman may have a valid claim as a member of a protected class.
Louisiana Civil Rights Protections at a Glance
Louisiana mostly relies on federal civil rights protections, but state law does address the matter of housing and employment discrimination on the basis of one's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. State law allows individuals to pursue private lawsuits and recovery any lawyer fees related to the claim. Check out the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights Website to learn more about filing a discrimination claim in a state court.
Additional details about Louisiana's civil rights laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Discrimination section for more articles and resources.
|Code Section||46:2251, et seq. (Disability); 51:2601, et seq. (Housing); 23:301, et seq. (Employment)|
|Agency||Disability: None; Housing: Louisiana Dept. of Justice; Employment: None|
|Administrative Preemption||Disability: No Housing: No; Employment: No|
|Private Action Permitted?||Disability: Yes; Housing: Yes; Employment: Yes|
|Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?||Disability: Yes; Housing: Yes; Employment: Yes|
|Statute of Limitations||Disability: 80 days to 1 yr.; Housing: 1 yr./agency, 2 yrs./private action; Employment: Not specified|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, voter approval of ballot initiatives, or rulings from appellate courts. You may want to contact a Louisiaina civil rights attorney or employment attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Louisiana Civil Rights Laws: Related Resources