Mississippi Labor Laws
As an employee in Mississippi, you have certain rights. If an employer or coworker violates these rights, the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan are here to help.
Recognized for filing more labor and employment cases than any other firm in the country, we are uniquely positioned to handle virtually any labor dispute. Whether you were the victim of wrongful termination, wage theft, discrimination, or another unlawful labor practice, our attorneys will fight on your behalf to recover the compensation you deserve.
Schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation.
In Mississippi, employment is “at-will,” meaning an employer can terminate an employee for almost any reason. However, there are notable exceptions to the at-will rule which may constitute wrongful termination. For example, you may have a claim if:
- You were fired for discriminatory reasons
- You were dismissed for filing a workers’ compensation claim
- You have a contract guaranteeing you employment and your employer let you go without good cause
- You were fired for refusing to participate in a criminal activity
- You were dismissed for reporting an illegal activity to your employer or someone else
Mississippi is one of five states without a minimum wage law. Therefore, employees are entitled to the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour as of 2020). If you earn tips, your employer is legally allowed to pay you less than the minimum wage (as little as $2.13/hour), but only if you earn enough in tips to bring your hourly pay to the federal minimum wage threshold.
Mississippi does not have laws governing overtime. Therefore, federal laws apply. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay employees time-and-a-half (1.5x normal pay) for all hours worked after the first 40 in a week. However, not all employees are entitled to receive overtime pay. For example, you might be exempt if you hold an executive position.
In Mississippi, benefits such as paid leave and sick days are discretionary. However, employers may be required to provide unpaid leave in some circumstances. For example, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act affords eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for various individual and family health circumstances.
Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are not allowed to make job decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Additional federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of age (40+), genetic information, and disability. These laws encompass all parts of the employment relationship: job listings, interviews, hirings, firings, promotions, compensation, and so forth.
Despite these laws, some employers discriminate against employees and applicants. For example, they may:
- Refuse to hire an applicant based on a protected trait
- Pass over an employee for a raise or promotion
- Deny equal pay to an employee based on gender
- List unnecessary job qualifications to exclude members of minority groups
- Refuse to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability
When workers are subjected to unwelcome comments or actions based on protected characteristics, it may constitute workplace harassment. This may include:
- Commenting on a coworker’s appearance
- Unwanted physical contact
- Telling sexual stories or jokes
- Using racial slurs
- Commenting on a coworker’s sexual orientation
- Joking about an employee’s age
- Making offensive gestures
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protects the employment rights of former and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces. USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against military personnel with regard to hiring, firing, promotions, benefits, or reemployment. It also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for disabled veterans.
Contact a Mississippi Labor & Employment Attorney
If you believe your employer or a coworker violated your rights, contact the labor and employment attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your hardship.
To find out, schedule a free, no-risk case evaluation. It costs nothing to get started, and we get paid only if you win. Contact us today.