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Louisiana PTO Laws: An Employer’s Guide to Paid Time Off in Louisiana 2024

Paid time off (PTO) is an essential inclusion in the Louisiana labor laws. Employers should be familiar with the Louisiana PTO laws to ensure proper compensation. PTO is an umbrella term that encompasses various leave types, including vacation days, sick leave, and personal days. Paid time off is essential for employees because it gives them time to attend to personal and health-related matters without sacrificing their income or job stability.

Louisiana PTO payout laws govern the accrual, usage, and payment of PTO, outlining employers’ and employees’ rights and responsibilities in managing time off from work per state regulations.

This article details laws regarding Paid Time Off (PTO) in Louisiana and what Louisiana employers should know.

  • Louisiana emphasizes accurate payment of wages to all employees. As per the Louisiana Wage Payment Act, employers must pay employees their wages due to an employee on time. Especially when an employee leaves the company or is terminated, the final payout must include the regular earnings and any accrued benefits that the employee is entitled to, such as accrued vacation pay. 
  • Under the Louisiana Wage Payment Act, wages owed to the employees must be paid on or before the next regular payday and no later than 15 days following the date of termination or resignation, whichever occurs first. This pay regulation applies across various sectors. Any unnecessary delay in receiving earned wages can prompt legal actions from employees. 
  • Furthermore, there are industry-specific rules in Louisiana regarding wage payments. For instance, employers in the oil and gas industry must pay their employees at least twice per month on regularly scheduled paydays. If there are no designated paydays, the wages must be paid on the 1st and 16th of each month. The same norms apply to employers of mining, manufacturing, and public service corporations. Other private employers don’t have such regulations, and establishing their pay periods and paydays is at their discretion. 
  • Louisiana has no mandatory vacation time laws, so PTO depends on internal policies and contractual agreements. If any oral or written commitment regarding PTO exists between employer and employee, it must be followed.

Accrued Vacation Pay

As of 2024, no Louisiana PTO laws on vacation time accrual exist. In Louisiana, most employees are provided paid time off and have the freedom to create an accrual system that fits their business model and requirements. The states treat earned vacation time as wages. Hence, employers are legally obligated to pay such compensation under certain conditions. This status of accrued vacation pay as a wage is pivotal because it ensures that employees are compensated for their earned but unused vacation time.

Employers also have the right to cap vacation time accrual to ensure an appropriate number of workers available to cover shifts.

Louisiana's "Use it or Lose it" Vacation Policies

Louisiana is one of the few states that allow “use it or lose it” vacation policies. Under these policies, employers can ask employees to utilize their accrued vacation time within a specific period, typically within the year it is accrued. Louisiana PTO laws make it legal for employers to restrict employees from carrying over unused vacation days to the subsequent year.

However, when implementing “use it or lose it” policies, employers must ensure that these policies are carefully crafted, clearly communicated, and applied consistently. The details should be documented in the employee handbook or the employment contract and accessible to all employees for review.

Can employers cap the amount of vacation leave?

In Louisiana, employers have the legal right to cap the amount of vacation leave an employee can accrue. Employers can limit the total amount of vacation time employees can accumulate over a certain period. As Louisiana PTO payout laws have no obligation for employers to provide paid vacation time, all the regulations regarding vacation time accrual are at their discretion.

That’s why sensitive issues like a cap on vacation leave must be clearly stated and communicated to all employees. The employee handbook and contracts should include policies regarding the maximum vacation time an employee can accrue.

While capping vacation leave is legally permissible, employers should consider the impact such policies may have on employee morale and retention. Sufficient vacation time can contribute positively to employee satisfaction and workplace culture.

What happens if the employer doesn't pay employees accrued or earned vacation pay?

Failure to pay employees accrued or earned vacation time can have significant legal consequences. Under the Louisiana Wage Payment Act, employees are entitled to their accrued vacation pay upon termination of employment. If an employer violates the act, they could owe either 90 days of wages at the employee’s daily rate of pay or the full wages from when the employee’s demand for payment is made until the employer pays or tenders the amount due, whichever is less. This penalty is in addition to the unpaid wages owed to the employee.

Do the employers also charge attorney fees?

If an employee files a well-founded lawsuit for unpaid vacation pay, the employer may also be liable for the employee’s reasonable attorney fees if proven guilty. Employees can file a lawsuit three days after making the first demand for unpaid wages after resignation or termination.

What are summary proceedings?

Louisiana Wage Payment Act allows employees to take advantage of ‘summary proceedings’ to resolve non-payment issues rapidly. It provided expedited legal procedures for resolving disputes related to wage payments between employers and employees.

Summary proceedings allow employees to have a hearing set almost immediately on filing wage disputes based on the case’s merit, leaving little time for employers to prepare for trial.

How can Truein help with paid time-off management for Louisiana based businesses?

Truein is designed to be a complete time and attendance tracking solution for employers across industries. Its accurate work-hour tracking capabilities assist with paid time off management by empowering employers to track, monitor, and manage employee leave while ensuring compliance with state labor laws.

With robust features such as automated leave tracking, customizable accrual rules, and real-time reporting, Truein can streamline PTO management processes for employers. By deploying Truein, you can reduce administrative burdens and promote transparency and fairness in employee benefits administration. Learn more about leveraging Truein’s advanced features and functionalities for PTO management.


Employers can ensure compliance and fair compensation by providing Louisiana PTO payout laws are transparently adhered to in workforce management. Truein can help significantly comply with Louisiana PTO laws by adhering to rules regarding wage payment, accrued vacation pay, “use it or lose it” policies, and other vital provisions.

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