For businesses in Louisiana specializing in background checks, a deep understanding of the state’s employment laws is more than a legal requirement—it’s a strategic advantage. These laws encompass more than just the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Title VII, introducing unique state-level provisions. Let’s dive deeper into these regulations, with special attention to their implications for volunteers, ensuring your business operations are both lawful and ethically sound.

1. Applicant-Paid Screening Costs and Volunteer Implications (La. R.S. 23:897)

In Louisiana, the law restricts employers from requiring job applicants to shoulder the costs of fingerprints, background checks, drug tests, or medical exams. However, this prohibition does not extend to volunteers. For many Louisiana-based organizations that rely on volunteer assistance, this exception is significant. It allows for more manageable financial handling of volunteer screenings without contravening state laws.

2. Social Media Privacy Protections (La. R.S. 51:1953)

Louisiana businesses must navigate the delicate balance of respecting personal online privacy while safeguarding their interests. State law prohibits employers from requesting social media account passwords or usernames, ensuring a clear demarcation between personal and professional realms. This law necessitates Louisiana companies to develop robust HR policies that honor these privacy boundaries.

3. Criminal History Inquiry Limitations in Employment (La. R.S. 42:1701)

A key law for state agencies—and a best practice for private companies—is restricting criminal history questions on initial job applications. This law aligns with the ‘ban-the-box’ initiative, aiming to provide fairer employment opportunities. Louisiana-based companies, by adopting similar practices, can promote equity in hiring and tap into a more diverse pool of talent.

4. Criminal Background Check Policies in New Orleans (Policy Memorandum No. 129)

This policy, specific to New Orleans, is vital for Louisiana companies engaging with the city. It delays criminal history checks until after an interview, fostering a more unbiased hiring process.

5. Ban-the-Box Ordinance for New Orleans Contractors (2018)

Companies in Louisiana contracting with New Orleans need to be aware of this ordinance, which defers criminal history inquiries until after an initial interview. Such ordinances are increasingly relevant in the broader context of equitable employment practices.

6. Prohibition of Salary History Inquiries (Executive Order MJL 17-01)

Originating in New Orleans, this order sets a precedent for all Louisiana businesses. Avoiding salary history inquiries can play a critical role in addressing wage disparities and promoting pay equity.

Extended Insights for Louisiana-Based Businesses

Louisiana companies should prioritize transparency and consent in background checks, stay updated on legal changes, and ensure HR personnel are well-trained in these aspects. Embracing policies that exceed compliance can significantly enhance your company’s reputation, attract diverse talent, and cultivate an inclusive workplace.


Louisiana-based companies in the background check sector must thoroughly understand and comply with the state’s employment laws. These regulations not only ensure legal compliance but also guide businesses toward fair, respectful, and inclusive hiring practices. By adhering to these principles, Louisiana businesses can lead the way in ethical employment standards and contribute positively to the state’s job market.