RS 23:642     

§642.  Setting minimum wage or employee benefits; prohibited

A.(1)  The Legislature of Louisiana finds that economic stability and growth are among the most important factors affecting the general welfare of the people of this state and are, therefore, among its own most important responsibilities.  Economic stability and growth contribute to the standard of living enjoyed by citizens as employment and income are both dependent on the ability and willingness of businesses to operate in the state.

(2)  The legislature further finds that wages and employee benefits comprise the most significant expense of operating a business.  It also recognizes that neither potential employees nor business patrons are likely to restrict themselves to employment opportunities or goods and services providers in any particular parish or municipality.  Consequently, local variation in legally required minimum wage  rates or mandatory, minimum number of vacation or sick leave days would threaten many businesses with a loss of employees to areas which require a higher minimum wage rate and many other businesses with the loss of patrons to areas which allow for a lower wage rate and more or less vacation or sick leave days.  The net effect of this situation would be detrimental to the business environment of the state and to the citizens, businesses, and governments of the various local jurisdictions as well as the local labor market.

(3)  The legislature concludes from these findings that, in order for a business to remain competitive and yet to attract and retain the highest possible caliber of employees, and thereby to remain sound, an enterprise must work in a uniform environment with respect to minimum wage rates and mandatory, minimum number of vacation or sick leave days.  The net impact of local variation in mandated wages and mandatory, minimum number of vacation or sick leave days would be economic instability and decline and a decrease in the standard of living for the citizens of the state.  Consequently, decisions regarding minimum wage and employee benefit policy must be made by the state so that consistency in the wage market is preserved.

B.  Therefore, pursuant to the police powers ultimately reserved to the state by Article VI, Section 9 of the Constitution of Louisiana, no local governmental subdivision shall establish a mandatory, minimum number of vacation or sick leave days, whether paid or unpaid, or a minimum wage rate which a private employer would be required to pay or grant employees.

Acts 1997, No. 317, §1; Acts 2012, No. 667, §1.