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A new unpaid leave law was signed by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on June 8, 2023, requiring Louisiana employers to provide one day of unpaid leave to employees for medically necessary cancer screening and genetic testing purposes. This new leave law is effective August 1, 2023.
In order for employees to take this unpaid absence from work to obtain medical screenings for genetic testing or preventive cancer screenings, they must be “medically necessary.”
The law defines "medically necessary" as "those healthcare services that are in accordance with generally accepted evidence-based medical standards or that are considered by most physicians or independent licensed practitioners within the community of their respective professional organizations to be the standard of care."
The law continues on to state that "to be considered medically necessary, services shall be deemed reasonably necessary to diagnose, correct, cure, alleviate, or prevent the worsening of a condition or conditions that endanger life, cause suffering or pain, or have resulted or will result in a handicap, physical deformity, or malfunction, and those for which no equally effective and less costly course of treatment is available or suitable for the recipient."
"Preventive cancer screening" is defined under the law as “healthcare services necessary for the detection of cancer in an individual, including but not limited to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, or some combination of tests.”
Note the following services are all not considered medically necessary under the law:
Employees wishing to take unpaid medical screening-related leave are required to provide 15 days prior notice to employers and make a reasonable effort to schedule the leave to avoid disrupting the employer’s operations.
Employers may request employees to provide documentation confirming the genetic testing or cancer screening being performed but may not require employees to disclose the results.
The effective date of the new unpaid medical screening-related leave law is August 1, 2023.
While employers are not required to provide paid time off from work to employees who are absent due to medical screenings, an employee may choose to substitute any accrued vacation time or other employer-provided paid time off for these purposes.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for taking time off of work for medical-related screenings in accordance with this new law.
Employers are required to post a notice of this new unpaid leave requirement on their premises. This notice is expected to be prepared and released by the Louisiana Workforce Commission soon.
Louisiana employers are advised to take note of the August 1, 2023 effective date for this new unpaid medical screening-related leave requirement and take the following steps:
Risk Strategies is here to help. Contact us directly at email@example.com.