Getting paid the amount your employer owes you on time can be the difference between paying bills on time and sliding into delinquency. It can also be very confusing if the state or other organizations have taken money out of your paycheck, but you were unaware of these deductions beforehand.
It can be very important to understand how the laws in Mississippi work regarding paychecks. Leaving a job is difficult enough, but even more difficult if you do not receive your last paycheck. The same is true if you dispute with your current employer over paychecks you never received.
Being an employee gives you certain rights, and Mississippi will uphold those rights. Receiving compensation for your work is one of the essential arrangements between an employee and an employer. As an employee, you have rights under federal and Mississippi law that your employer has to meet regarding your paycheck. If your rights regarding your paycheck have been violated, you may be entitled to compensation.
When Does Mississippi Require Paychecks to be Sent Out?
Unlike most states, Mississippi has no laws specifying how often your employer must pay you. Thus, federal law dictates how frequently you must be paid biweekly or semimonthly. The same law applies to all employees, regardless of whether they are salaried or hourly.
On the other hand, if your employer has stated in your employment contract that you will be paid on a specific date or schedule, they must adhere to this. If they breach what is written in an employment agreement, they might be held liable for a violation (such as for missed or late paychecks).
Complex employment contracts may need to be reviewed by a lawyer before signing.
What Happens to My Paycheck If I am Fired or If I Quit in Mississippi?
Mississippi does not have any laws regarding when you should receive your final paycheck, so you should expect to receive it on the next scheduled payday. There are also no laws requiring paid vacation or sick days.
However, if your company does offer paid vacation and paid sick days, then they have to pay you for unused days if you are fired or quit unless the company clearly states in advance (e.g., in your employment contract or as a company policy outlines somewhere in writing) that they do not pay you for unused time.
Can My Paycheck Be Garnished in Mississippi?
Wage garnishment is where the employer sets aside a portion of the employee’s wages in order to address the employee’s outstanding debt. This can happen in many different situations – it is commonly applied in situations where the employee has outstanding child support that they haven’t paid, but it can also be used in situations as prosaic as credit card debt.
These amounts will then be used to pay off the debt. In most cases, the employer will transfer the monetary amounts directly to the court for processing. In other cases, the employer might transfer the funds to a third-party agency, whose role is to manage the money and transfer it to the court.
Under Mississippi law, an automatic garnishment can be placed on your wages for specific debts, including back child support, defaulted student loans, and taxes. For other types of debt, such as unpaid credit cards or medical bills, your creditor has to go to court first. Then, after they get a court order allowing garnishment, they can garnish your wages for that debt.
Mississippi does not have laws about deductions for damage to, or loss of, company property, so your employer can deduct your wages to cover any losses you may have caused. However, federal law makes it illegal to deduct so much that you make less than minimum wage.
How Do I Recover a Withheld Paycheck in Mississippi?
Since Mississippi has no specific state laws about when and if you can expect to be paid, it is usually better for employees to sue their employers directly for missing wages, you can also contact the US Department of Labor to see if they can assist you in filing an unpaid wages complaint against your employer.
In cases where there are disputes over the amount in a paycheck, a wage and hour claim may sometimes be necessary. This is where the court determines whether the employee is eligible for back payments on missed wage amounts, damages, and other issues. Some common legal disputes involved in a wage and hour claim include:
- Disputes over late or missing paychecks;
- Disputes over minimum wage rates or overall wage rates;
- Conflicts regarding tips and other alternative payment methods;
- Issues regarding overtime pay, overtime hours, and other policies;
- Legal issues involving company pay schedules and policies;
- Issues involving child labor laws or
- Various other legal issues.
When involved in a wage and hour claim, the employee should begin compiling items and documents that might be used as evidence in court. This can include important documents like employment contracts, employee handbooks or work policies, past pay stubs or checks, bank account statements, and other similar items. An attorney can assist when it comes to the collection of these types of documents.
How Does Mississippi Handle Employment Discrimination?
Mississippi employers cannot discriminate against their employees (or candidates for jobs) based on race, sex, age, religion, national background, pregnancy status, or a legally recognized medical condition or disability.
For instance, they cannot deny a person their paycheck or reduce their paycheck based on their race. They also cannot provide other groups of workers with preferential treatment based on those categories.
In cases where discrimination may have been an issue, it is usually necessary to file first with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will investigate the matter and prescribe a remedy for the employee. If the EEOC’s actions still do not provide a suitable remedy, it may become necessary to file a private lawsuit to recover damages caused by the discrimination.
They should gather documents or statements that might help their case to do this. This can include pay stubs, emails, text messages, statements from other workers, and other forms of evidence. This can be a complex matter and may require the assistance of a legal professional.
Furthermore, employers cannot retaliate against a worker solely because they have filed a discrimination claim. If the EEOC cannot provide a suitable remedy, a lawsuit may be the next option.
Does Mississippi Law Require Me to Pay for My Uniform?
Mississippi does not have laws concerning paying for uniforms or any necessary medical testing before being hired. So, employers can ask you to cover these costs without a promise of reimbursement if you are still making minimum wage after these costs are removed from your paycheck. Expenses related to other items, such as vehicle usage, are subject to agreement between employer and employee.
Where Can You Find the Right Mississippi Lawyer?
You must find legal representation to help you with your paycheck issues. An employment lawyer in Mississippi can represent you in court against your employer if you have to sue them to get your earned wages. Your attorney can also provide advice and guidance if you have any questions or inquiries.