Right to Earn a Livingin Louisiana


Score: 90/100

Illustration vector of various careers and professions

State Overview

Louisiana imposes burdens on a large number of professions, requiring a license to work. For many individuals, this is just a small hurdle on the way to their career. For low-income individuals and those with a criminal conviction in their past, this can be the difference in finding meaningful work and returning to a life of crime. The Institute for Justice conducted an extensive analysis of state occupational licensing laws and found that Louisiana requires a license for 77 low- income occupations, making it the 6th most burdensome state in the country for occupational licensing. The sheer number of occupations requiring licenses limits possibilities for the disadvantaged seeking to reenter the workforce. Louisiana licenses dozens of professions. Besides licensing for doctors and attorneys, the state licenses over 70 occupations with average salaries that fall below the national average. These are natural fits for individuals reentering the workforce.

Despite the sheer scale of occupational licensing in Louisiana, the state receives top marks for reducing barriers to entry for people with criminal convictions in their past. The state has adopted a Fair Chance provision which prevents the denial of an occupational license based solely or in part based on a conviction that is not related to the licensed profession. The law establishes standards for how boards can consider records, and applies to almost all licensed professions in the state. Louisiana’s Fair Chance policies ensure that individuals are not precluded from seeking a meaningful occupation simply because of an old or unrelated conviction, providing a model for other states.


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Occupational Licensing Restrictions

Louisiana’s Fair Chance provision applies to almost every licensed profession in the state. Excluded professions include those related to gaming. In addition to establishing standards for how boards can use conviction records when granting licenses, the state allows any individual to submit review requests to an oversight board, and establishes standards for how those petitions are reviewed by courts. Boards are also required to list excluded convictions and justifications online.

90/100 points


LA RS 37:2950, 49:953, 49:963, 37:33-36, 37:2950