Legal Corner: Can a parent say who will raise and care for their young children in a will?

KPLC 7News at Noon - Jan. 15, 2020 - Pt. II - clipped version

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Submit your questions to news@kplctv.com. Civil matters only, please.

Question 1: The company I work for is considering selling their business. It has 60 employees. For a “WARN” notice and severance package in Louisiana, do they have to give us a specific amount of notice? Everything is up in the air and I’m not sure what I need to do at this point.

Answer: WARN stands for Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, and became the law in 1989. It requires employers to give 60 days’ notice before plant closings or mass layoffs. It does not apply to companies with less than 100 employees, and that does not include employees who have been with the company less than a month or work less than 20 hours a week. Also, it does not apply to Federal, State or local government employees.

Since your company has a business with 60 employees – WARN does not apply.

As it relates to severance packages – the employer is not required to offer one in lieu of complying with WARN, but it is done sometimes. It depends on your employment agreement.

For more details about WARN, you can visit the Department of Labor’s website: www.doleta.gov

and type in the search term “WARN”.

Question 2: Can a parent say in their will who will raise and care for their children if the parent dies while their children are still young?

Answer: Yes. In Louisiana, a tutorship are what other states refer to as guardianship, and describes the person who is legally responsible for the care of a minor child. For instance, tutors are often appointed when a child‘s parent get divorce or when one dies.

Under Louisiana law, a Tutorship by Will (LA. Civil Code Art. 257) is the right of appointing a tutor, whether related or not, which right belongs exclusively to the parent dying last. This is called tutorship by Will because generally it is given by testament. It may likewise be given by any declaration of the surviving mother or father executed before a notary and two witnesses. In order for Tutorship by Will to take effect, the tutor must be confirmed or appointed by the court and must qualify for office as provided by law. Tutor must accept appointment in order to become a tutor.

La. Civ. Code Art. 257-262 (Tutorship by Will).

Question 3: I hired someone to manage a duplex apartment that I owned. I have found out that the manager allowed a family member to move into one of the units without paying for nearly two months. Can I make the manager reimburse me?

Answer: Yes. Based on the facts presented, the manager is probably liable to the owner for the losses that were caused by his or her mismanagement. Unless there was something in writing between the manager and the owner that said otherwise, the manger was probably serving as the owner’s agent.

Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 2293, An agent or manager who has been put in charge of managing one’s affairs is held to the standard of a prudent administrator and is answerable for any loss that results from his/her failure to do so.

Louisiana Civil Code Articles 2292-2295

Disclaimer: The information furnished in this answer is general and may not apply to some situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely to their detriment on these answers. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and the viewers of KPLC-TV.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.