On August 1, 2014, a new Louisiana law took effect to protect companies that hire ex-offenders who go on to cause damage or injury during the course of their employment.  The law provides that, subject to certain exceptions, an employer may not be held liable for negligent hiring or supervision solely because it hired or retained an employee or independent contractor with a prior criminal conviction.

Although the law is meant to encourage companies to hire ex-offenders by offering protection from suit, it does not provide complete protection and indeed discourages the hiring of individuals who have committed certain types of crimes, such as violent crimes or sex offenses.

Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas recently passed similar laws.  Given the exceptions in these growing number of statutes, employers should still remember to carefully screen their applicants and employers to the extent permitted by federal, state, and local law.