LEGAL CORNER: Are severance packages required in Louisiana?

Updated: Oct. 25, 2017 at 12:44 PM CDT
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QUESTION: The company I work for is considering selling the business. It is a smaller company with about 60 employees. I have only been employed a little over a year, but others have been here many years. I know in some states severance packages are given. What are my rights in regards to WARN and a 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 months or work less than 20 hours a week. It also does not apply to Federal, State or local government employees.

In your scenario – a business with less than 60 employees – WARN does not apply. About severance packages – the employer is not required to offer one in lieu of complying with WARN, but it is done. It depends on your employment agreement.

For more details about WARN, you can visit the Department of Labor's website and type in the search term "WARN".

QUESTION: I bought a property in June of this year and under the agreement of sale, I must share 50 percent of a detached garage with the seller. This detached garage is located on the property I purchased. I am currently having so many problems with this agreement because the seller, who is also my neighbor, is now allowing her daughter to use the garage space for late night parties.

Also, since we began "sharing" the garage, many of my things have gone missing and I'm pretty sure the seller/neighbor and daughter are now stealing them. I would really like to have these people remove their belongings from my property and not share the garage with them because it is becoming a nightmare. I have the legal title in my name, can I now have this agreement null or voided? What can I do to have complete ownership of said garage and get these people off my property?

ANSWER: As repetitive as it sounds, always consult legal advice before you sign a contract! This is especially true when it comes to the sale of immovable property in Louisiana - our law requires the transfer of ownership in an immovable to be in writing.

More information would help us to better answer this question – for example, did the document define what "sharing" is? Are there limitations on the sharing – a period of time, only for certain activities? And what does sharing 50 percent mean?

Depending on the wording of the document, you may file an action for breach of contract (the sale of the land) and have the sale nullified. Of course, this means you will no longer own the property, and will have to renegotiate the terms of any new contact.

As far as the stolen items, you should report that to whichever law enforcement agency has jurisdiction in your area.

QUESTION: Who would I contact to have the speed limit reduced on a parish road? 

ANSWER: You should contact your Police Juror. If you do not know who your police juror is you can visit the Parish's website:

One of the headings on the home page is "GIS Maps", click on that.

On the left of the page is a list which includes "Maps of Calcasieu Parish". Click on that.

There is a list in the center of the next page will have a heading, "Police Jury Districts". If you click on that, you can see the districts displayed in different colors and which juror represents your area.

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.

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