Appeal from the Thirty-Second Judicial District Court In and
for the Parish of Terrebonne State of Louisiana No. 176426
Honorable George J. Larke, Jr., Judge Presiding
Christopher L. Williams New Orleans, LA Counsel for
Plaintiff/Appellant Eugene Molina
Vincent Dagate, Jr. Houma, LA Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant
Eugene Molina Counsel for Defendant/ Appellee Oilfield
Production Contractors, Inc.
BEFORE: McCLENDON, WELCH, AND THE RIOT, 33.
former employee appeals a trial court judgment ordering
payment of vacation leave by his former employer, but failing
to award the employee penalty wages and attorney's fees.
For the following reasons, we amend the judgment, and as
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Molina was employed by Oilfield Production Contractors, Inc.
("OPC") as a lead operator until he was terminated
by OPC on July 23, 2015. On February 16, 2016, Mr. Molina
filed a Rule to Show Cause seeking to hold OPC liable for
failing to pay forty-four hours of accrued vacation pay
allegedly owed him, as well as penalty wages, attorney's
fees, and costs. OPC answered Mr. Molina's rule,
asserting that he had been paid in full for the three
vacation days earned at the time of his termination.
a hearing, the trial court found that Mr. Molina was owed
$244.76, representing .89 days of pay. However, the trial
court concluded that OPC had not acted in bad faith, and it
denied Mr. Molina's claim for penalties and
Molina has appealed, asserting that the trial court erred in
concluding that he was entitled to only .89 days of vacation
pay, and by refusing to award penalty wages and
Louisiana Wage Payment Act, LSA-R.S. 23:631, et
seq., is designed to compel prompt payment of earned
wages upon an employee's discharge or resignation.
Davis v. St. Francisville Country Manor, LLC,
13-0190 (La.App. 1 Or. 11/01/13) 136 So.3d 20, 22.
Specifically, LSA-R.S. 23;63l(A)(1)(b) provides that upon
resignation of an employee, the employer shall pay the
employee "the amount then due under the terms of
employment" on or before the earlier of the next regular
pay day or fifteen days following the employee's
discharge. For purposes of LSA-R.S. 23;63l(A), wages are
equivalent to the "amount then due under the terms of
employment, " i.e., wages, or compensation, earned
during a pay period. Davis, 136 So.3d at 22.
Subsection D(1) addresses vacation pay and provides as
For purposes of this Section, vacation pay will be considered
an amount then due only if, in accordance with the stated
vacation policy of the person employing such laborer or other
employee, both of the following apply:
(a)The laborer or other employee is deemed eligible for and
has accrued the right to take ...