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Labor Laws of Mississippi

Mississippi labor laws exist to protect employees and to make sure they do not lose the rights they have under these laws. There are also federal laws that offer protection for employee rights, so employees should check all labor laws that might apply to them. Looking at these laws will tell you what rights you have in your workplace. The laws will also explain what process you need to go through to protect those rights.

What Is Part-Time vs. Full-Time in Mississippi?

Mississippi does not have a law that specifically states how many hours you have to work to be full-time or part-time. However, most employers do generally consider anyone who works at least 40 hours per week to be full-time. However, you should check with your HR department to find out what your status is at your company.

What Is the Minimum Wage in Mississippi?

Mississippi does not have any laws about minimum wage. Instead, Mississippi-based employers must adhere to the federal minimum wage as set by federal law. The federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 per hour. For tipped employees, the federal minimum wage is $2.13 per hour.

Overtime

Mississippi also does not have any state laws about overtime. Thus, Mississippi employers must follow the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) requirement of paying 1 and ½ times the regular pay if you work over 40 hours per week. They also do not limit mandatory overtime, so an employer can require an employee to work as many hours as the employer asks.

Health Benefits

Mississippi does not have its own law about health benefits, and, thus, it follows the Affordable Care Act (ACA) instead. Under that law, any employer that has more than 50 or more full-time employees must offer health insurance. This plan has to cover at least 60% of typical health costs. Companies with less than 50 employees have the freedom to decide if they are going to provide health insurance, so you should check with your HR department about the availability of health insurance if you work for a smaller company.

It is important to know that the health insurance laws may change soon, and employees should consult with a local lawyer in case there are any new laws that are enacted in the future.

Discrimination

Employers in Mississippi cannot discriminate against an employee based on any of the categories protected by federal law. If your employer has discriminated against you, then you can either file with an agency to resolve the issue or, if that does not work out, then you can sue the company. Mississippi does not have its own state laws or agency to deal with workplace discrimination. Instead, you have to file your complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There are several time limits you need to carefully follow, so you should check with a local lawyer before filing a complaint.  If you choose to file a discrimination claim, you will be protected by federal law from retaliation by your employer for filing the claim.

Since Mississippi employees are only able to resolve their discrimination issues though the EEOC, they are subject to the damages limit as well. The limit on the amount you can win in a lawsuit depends on the size of the company. If the company for which you work has between 15-100 employees , the max amount you can win is $50,000. For companies with 101-200 employees ,the most you can win is $100,000. Companies with 201-500 employees can only be made to pay up to $200,000. If the company has more than 500 employees, the max amount you can recover is $300,000.

Time Off

Just as with other areas of employee rights, Mississippi does not have its own state laws about time off. Rather, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). That law only covers employees that are employed by companies that have 50 or more employees and conduct business in multiple states. Under FMLA, an employee is eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, medical and health benefits during that leave, and the right to go back to their job when they return.

Where Can I Find a Local Employment Lawyer to Help Me?

It is always important to make sure that you are able to enjoy all of the rights afforded to you in the workplace. If you think you are not getting the basic rights and protections offered by Mississippi and federal labor laws, then contact a Mississippi employment lawyer today.

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Last Modified: 02-21-2017 04:54 AM PST

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