TITLE 51. TRADE AND COMMERCE
CHAPTER 38. LOUISIANA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
51:2257 Complaints of discrimination; procedure; conciliation agreements; enforcement
A. An individual claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful practice, a member of the commission, or the attorney general may file with the commission a written sworn complaint stating that an unlawful practice has been committed, setting forth the facts upon which the complaint is based, and setting forth facts sufficient to enable the commission to identify the persons charged, hereinafter referred to as the "respondent". The commission staff or a person designated pursuant to its rules shall promptly investigate the allegations of unlawful practice set forth in the complaint and shall within five days furnish the respondent with a copy of the complaint. The complaint shall be filed within one hundred eighty days after the alleged unlawful practice occurs.
B. The commission or an individual designated pursuant to its rules shall determine, within thirty days after the complaint has been filed, whether there is probable cause to believe the respondent has engaged in an unlawful practice. If it is determined that there is no probable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged in an unlawful practice, the commission shall issue an order dismissing the complaint and shall furnish a copy of the order to the complainant, the respondent, the attorney general, and such other public officers and persons as the commission deems proper.
C. The complainant, within ten days after receiving a copy of the order dismissing the complaint, may file with the commission an application for reconsideration of the order. Upon such application, the commission or an individual designated pursuant to its rules shall make a new determination, within ten days, whether there is probable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged in an unlawful practice. If it is determined that there is no probable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged in an unlawful practice, the commission shall issue an order dismissing the complaint and furnishing a copy of the order to the complainant, the respondent, the attorney general, and such other public officers and persons as the commission deems proper.
D. If the staff determines, after investigation, or if the commission determines, after the review provided for in Subsection (B) or (C) of this Section, that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent has engaged in an unlawful practice, the commission staff shall endeavor to eliminate the alleged unlawful practice by conference, conciliation, and persuasion. The terms of a conciliation agreement reached with a respondent may require him to refrain from the commission of unlawful discriminatory practices in the future and make such further provisions as may be agreed upon between the commission or its staff and the respondent. If a conciliation agreement is entered into, the commission shall issue and serve on the complainant an order stating its terms. A copy of the order shall be delivered to the respondent, the attorney general, and such other public officers and persons as the commission deems proper. Except for the terms of the conciliation agreement, neither the commission nor any officer or employee thereof shall make public, without the written consent of the complainant and the respondent,information concerning efforts in a particular case to eliminate an unlawful practice by conference, conciliation, or persuasion whether or not there is a determination of probable cause or a conciliation agreement.
E. At the expiration of one year from the date of a conciliation agreement, and at other times in its reasonable discretion, the commission staff may investigate whether the terms of the agreement have been and are being complied with by the respondent. Upon a finding that the terms of the agreement are not being complied with by the respondent, the commission shall take such action as it deems appropriate to assure compliance.
F. At any time after a complaint is filed, the commission may file an action in the district court in a parish in which the subject of the complaint occurs, or in a parish in which a respondent resides or has his principal place of business, seeking appropriate temporary relief against the respondent pending final determination of proceedings under this Chapter, including an order or decree restraining him from doing or procuring any act tending to render ineffectual any order the commission may enter with respect to the complaint. The court may grant such temporary relief or restraining orders it deems just and proper.
G. Insofar as it is not inconsistent or in conflict with the procedure and practice provided by this Chapter, the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply to proceedings under this Chapter.
H. (1) The complainant may request termination of commission proceedings and the issuance of a notice of the right to file a civil action in district court against the respondent named in the charge, provided the commission has not entered into a conciliation agreement to which the complainant is a party, and further provided that any one of the following apply:
(a) The charge filed with the commission is dismissed by the commission.
(b) The commission has not filed a civil action pursuant to this Section within one hundred and eighty days from the filing of a charge and such charge is still pending.
(2) The notice of the right to file a civil action in district court against the respondent may be issued to any one or more of the following parties:
(a) The person claiming to be aggrieved.
(b) Any person whom the charge alleges was aggrieved by the alleged unlawful practice, but only if such charge was filed by a member of the commission.
(3)(a) The complainant and the respondent may agree to submit the complaint to voluntary binding arbitration at any time after the filing of a complaint and prior to the taking of testimony at a public hearing. The submission agreement shall be in writing and shall be signed by all parties.
(b) The arbitration proceeding shall be administered by the commission, or such other party as the commission deems proper, pursuant to procedures adopted for the arbitration of cases submitted under the commission's authority. The commission shall select an arbitrator from a list provided and certified by a national recognized professional arbitration association. The selection shall be subject to agreement by all parties.
(c) The arbitrator shall have the same authority to hear and determine claims asserted under the human rights law as would the commission or a court of competent jurisdiction. The arbitrator shall also have such additional authority as the complainant(s) and respondent(s) may grant to the arbitrator.
(d) The determination and award of the arbitrator shall be final and binding. The determination and award of the arbitrator shall not be vacated, modified, or overturned except for reasons limited to corruption, fraud, or misconduct on behalf of any party in the obtaining of the determination and award.
(e) The complainant and respondent shall share equally in the administrative costs of the arbitration, including arbitrator fees, unless the commission, in good faith deems it necessary to utilize some other formula for sharing the cost of the arbitration.
(4) It shall be an unlawful practice for a party to a voluntary binding arbitration pursuant to this Subsection to violate the terms of the arbitration.
Added by Acts 1988, No. 886, §1. Amended by Acts 1995, No. 1314, §1, eff. July 1, 1995; Acts 1997, No. 1409, §3, eff. Aug. 1, 1997.