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      RS 23:964     


§964. Discharge of or discrimination against employees for testifying at labor investigation; penalties; enforcement

            A. No employer shall discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has testified or furnished any other information in any investigation or proceeding relative to the enforcement of any of the labor laws of this state.

            B. Any employer found in violation of Subsection A shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars, or imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than ninety days, or both.

            C.(1) Any person violating the provisions of this Section shall be liable, in addition to the criminal penalty provided in Subsection B, to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars.

            (2) Reasonable litigation expenses may be awarded to the prevailing party of the adjudicatory hearing. "Reasonable litigation expenses" means any expenses, not exceeding seven thousand five hundred dollars, reasonably incurred in prosecuting, opposing, or contesting an agency action, including but not limited to attorney fees, stenographer fees, investigative fees and expenses, witness fees and expenses, and administrative costs.

            D. Civil penalties may be imposed only by a ruling of the assistant secretary of the office of workforce development pursuant to an adjudicatory hearing held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

            E. The assistant secretary of the office of workforce development may institute civil proceedings in the appropriate district court for the principal place of business of the employer to enforce his rulings or seek injunctive relief to restrain and prevent violations of the provisions of this Part or of the rules and regulations adopted under this Part. The court shall award attorney fees and court costs to the prevailing party. In the event judgment is rendered in said court affirming the civil penalties assessed, the court shall also award to the office of workforce development judicial interest on said penalties from the date of such judgment until paid.

            F. Out of the civil penalties collected for violations of this Section, expenses incurred in enforcing the provisions of this Section may be paid by the commission.

            G. The assistant secretary of the office of workforce development may enforce the civil provisions of this Section, adopt and promulgate such reasonable rules and regulations, and conduct such investigations as he deems necessary to ensure enforcement of this Section.

            Acts 1988, No. 855, §1, eff. July 18, 1988; Acts 1993, No. 611, §1, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 1997, No. 1114, §1, eff. July 14, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 1172, §4, eff. June 30, 1997; Acts 2007, No. 113, §3.

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