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Key labor bills move forward in Louisiana

This week, Louisiana’s state legislature continued to move major labor reform bills through the legislative process. The House and Senate have a collective ten bills related to collective bargaining and workers’ rights.  
As of Thursday morning, here are where those bills stand 
Passed the House and sent to the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations: 

  • HB 956 aims to ensure the integrity of the voting process within labor organizations, potentially impacting how unions conduct internal elections. 
  • HB 523 would require a secret ballot election every two years to certify the collective bargaining representative. 

Passed the House and failed in the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations:

  • HB 571 focuses on restricting certain designated labor organization activities within employment contracts. It aims to curtail practices such as paid release time for public employees to engage in union activities. 
  • HB 980 (previously 712) is focused on the resignation process from labor organizations for teachers and other school employees, along with regulations concerning the collection of membership dues for political activities. 

Scheduled for a House floor debate: 

  • HB 919 enacts paycheck protection reforms. 
  • HB 572 seeks to prohibit collective bargaining for public officers and employees. 

Proposed by the Senate and referred to the Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations: 

  • SB 292 requires a collective bargaining representative to engage a third-party election facilitator to conduct a secret ballot election. 
  • SB 263 focused on regulations concerning the collection of membership dues for political activities. 
  • SB 264 requires any organization that requests a public entity to arrange for collection of membership dues via salary deduction of its employees to certify that none of the membership dues will be used for political activity. 

Subject to call by the Senate: 

  • SB 331 revokes the authorization of any state, parish, or city employee to withhold from his salary a specific amount for payment of his or her dues to any labor organization to which he or she belongs. 

These bills reflect a broader debate over the role of unions in Louisiana’s labor landscape. While proponents argue that these reforms will empower workers, opponents—particularly union executives—have raised concerns about potential infringements on collective bargaining power.  
The outcome of these bills will likely have significant implications for labor relations in Louisiana, shaping the future trajectory of workplace policies and practices across the state. 

Isabel Blank

Isabel Blank is Communications Director at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2021, Isabel worked in media relations at Travelers Insurance and held government affairs and communications roles with Yankee Institute. She has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, both from the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!). Isabel loves Crossfit and supporting her local Connecticut breweries.