CSI: NY star Hill Harper has put his acting career on hold to locate employees at his two trendy New Orleans, Louisiana, hotels, who have been missing since Hurricane Katrina hit the city last month (AUG05).

The actor, who plays DR SHELDON HAWKINS in the crime drama, co-owns Loft 523 and International House and is desperate to find people who worked for him.

Harper reveals that most of his 83 New Orleans employees are safe, but 19 are still missing - and he's determined to track everyone down.

And the generous star continues to pay all his staff their full salary and benefits - even though his hotels remain closed following the storm.

He says, "Ninety per cent of our employees lost everything. Without their salary, they'd have nothing."

Harper is determined to reopen both hotels, which were miraculously left minimally damaged, and, in the meantime, has offered staff the chance to stay there.

He explains, "We're going to portion off a part of the hotels where our staff can stay.

"We also own two condos in town that we'll utilise. You can't ask people to work if they don't have a place to live."