Mississippi Labor Laws Guide

Ultimate Mississippi labor laws guide: minimum wage, overtime, break, leave, hiring, termination, and miscellaneous labor laws.

Mississippi Labor Laws FAQ
Mississippi minimum wage $7.25
Mississippi overtime laws 1.5 times rate for over 40 hours per week
$10.875 for minimum wage workers
Mississippi break laws None required
Mississippi Labor Laws Guide

Table of contents

Mississippi wage laws

The very first segment we ought to cover is the minimum wage requirement per hour worked in Mississippi.

The minimum wage requirement is different for non-tipped and tipped employees.

Moreover, certain occupations are exempt from this requirement, and we'll cover all instances in the following segments.

Regulations on a federal level and in Mississippi require employers that any number of hours up to 40 per week must be compensated to employees at least at a rate of minimum wage.

If an employee works over 40 hours a week, their employers are obliged to pay them a higher hourly rate. This is regulated by the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the state of Mississippi follows the federal minimum wage regulation.

Let's see what Mississippi employees are entitled to, in terms of fair and adequate compensation for their work, on an hourly basis.

Mississippi Minimum Wage Laws (hourly)
Regular minimum wage Tipped minimum wage Subminimum wage
$7.25 $2.13 $7.25

Mississippi minimum wage

In the state of Mississippi, there is no state law that regulates the minimum hourly wage.

Therefore, the minimum wage requirement is the same as the federal law states — at least $7.25 per one hour worked.

The increase to the minimum wage in Mississippi is announced to continue complying with the federal minimum wage requirement.

So, in case the federal minimum wage requirement increases, the same will go into effect for Mississippi employees.

It is important to mention that it is illegal for employers to offer a lower hourly rate to all the employees who are non-exempt from the rule.

Since we're mentioning non-exempt status, it is implied that there are some exemptions and exceptions to this requirement — for example, for tipped occupations.

Read the following segments to make sure you're fully aware of which situations and positions are exempt from the minimum wage rule, whether you're an employer or an employee.

Tipped minimum wage in Mississippi

Certain professions, especially the ones in the hospitality industry, are commonly and closely tied with tips.

The very term, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), refers to certain sums of money that customers freely provide to tipped employees, as a recognition for their service and attitude.

Employees must regularly receive such forms of gratuities (mostly in cash) in order to count as tipped employees — e.g. servers, bartenders, waiters, delivery people, etc.

Tipped employees' minimum wage in Mississippi is currently set to $2.13.

However, the tipped minimum wage rate is applicable only if the sum of the basis ($2.13) and the earned tips amounts to at least $7.25 (regular minimum wage.) If the sum is lower, the law states it's up to their employers to make up the difference.

As the state of Mississippi follows the federal rules regarding wages, under the FLSA — tip pooling is permitted and even may be required by an employer.

This practice would mean having all the collected tips during one shift redistributed amongst all the employees, even the ones who do not regularly receive cash gratuities (chefs, assistant chefs, prep cooks, line cooks, dishwashers, etc.)

Exceptions to the minimum wage in Mississippi

Just as tipped employees are exempt from the minimum wage requirement, there are other instances of exempt positions.

Since the state does not have any wage laws, the FLSA declaration of certain occupations applies in Mississippi — making them exceptions from the minimum wage requirement.

Let's now see when employers can offer lower or higher than the standard hourly minimum wage — here's a full list of instances when that is allowed:

Subminimum wage in Mississippi

We've already mentioned that the state of Mississippi does not have its own minimum wage laws. That further implies the state does not address any subminimum wage requirements, which means the federal rules apply again.

Subminimum wage usually applies to the following categories of employees:

The term “minors” refers to young workers who are under the age of 18.

Because of the application of the federal law, Mississippi employers are not allowed to pay an hourly rate that's lower than the standard hourly rate to any of the abovementioned employees.

Which means — subminimum and minimum wages are the same in Mississippi, both based on the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Mississippi payment laws

Now let's see what are the state requirements for Mississippi employers when it comes to the frequency of payments.

Under Mississippi statute, employers are required to provide payment once every two weeks.

So, the payroll periods operate on a semi-monthly basis.

In other words, employers offer compensation for their employees no later than 13 days after the end day in a certain pay period.

This rule does not cover private employers and therefore applies only to:

Deductions from wages in Mississippi

Mississippi employers are required to provide an itemized statement of deductions for each pay period.

However, the state does not have any other specific laws regarding deductions.

That means there are no restrictions on employers deducting any amounts from their employees' paychecks for the following reasons:

The federal law also states that employers can make deductions for the above-mentioned reasons only if said deductions don't cause an employee to earn less than federal minimum wage in a certain payroll period.

Mississippi overtime laws

According to both federal and Mississippi state law, any number of hours exceeding 40 per week counts as overtime. 40 hours per week is a regular requirement for full-time employees, e.g. working Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5.

Any number of hours exceeding 40 counts as overtime and must be compensated at a higher hourly rate.

Non-exempt employees who do exceed that number are entitled to 1.5 times their regular hourly rate.

For minimum wage employees (who earn $7.25 per hour) that currently translates to $10.875 per hour and is applicable to all non-exempt employees.

As was the case with the minimum wage requirement, some exceptions exist, when employers aren't required to offer compensation at a 1.5 rate.

The following section will deal with exceptions from overtime, so you can check out if you or your employees are eligible for overtime compensation in Mississippi.

Track Mississippi overtime with Clockify

Overtime exceptions and exemptions for White Collar employees in Mississippi

Employees should always try to be well-informed about their rights and responsibilities, to be rightfully compensated for their work. Employers should do the same, to ensure they are abiding by relevant labor laws.

Some occupations and conditions can overrule this 1.5 rate requirement, so let's check out which ones.

According to the federal overtime rules, which the state of Mississippi abides by, 4 main categories of employees are not protected by the overtime law.

Those 4 fit into the larger category of White Collar occupations, and we've mentioned them as exceptions to the minimum wage rule as well.

White Collar employees are the ones working in any of the following categories:

  1. Administration — people who perform non-manual work related to business operations, management policies, or administrative training (provided that no more than 20% of the time is spent on activities unrelated to the position) — this category includes accountants, HR team members, market research analysts, etc.
  2. Executives — business, general, and executive managers who directly manage at least 2 employees.
  3. Professionals — people whose position calls for advanced knowledge and extensive education, such as software analysts or software engineers (The category also includes artists, certified teachers, and other creative work requiring talent, invention, or imagination.).
  4. Outside sales — Outside sales representatives who visit potential and existing customers at their premises.

When it comes to overtime, provided they earn at least $684 per week, White Collar employees do not have to be paid at a 1.5 rate for working over 40 hours.

Mississippi overtime restrictions for specific occupations

When it comes to exemptions to overtime, federal law enforces restrictions on some other, more specific occupations.

The whole list of exceptions to the minimum wage applies to overtime as well, so here are the employees who are exempt from overtime:

Mississippi break laws

Employers in the state of Mississippi are not legally required to provide a meal or a rest break to their employees.

However, employers can choose to offer both meal and rest breaks. In those cases, federal rules apply.

If an employer does offer either type of break, the law states that:

Breastfeeding laws in Mississippi

This law is applicable to all working mothers who gave birth recently and are still breastfeeding. In Mississippi, this law is the same as the one on the federal level, so employers whose businesses are based in this state are required to provide adequate conditions for such female employees.

The period of this type of break can be either paid or unpaid, as predetermined by the company regulations and policy.

By “adequate conditions”, the law refers to employers providing a room or location with a door that can't be a bathroom stall. That's in order to ensure privacy during the activity.

Employers' obligation is to provide such a location in the nearest possible proximity to the working environment, and the governing body is the Mississippi State Department of Health.

Mississippi leave requirements

Now, let's take a look into what happens if an employee asks for a leave of absence from work in the state of Mississippi.

The law regulates which types of leave Mississippi employers are required to offer and provide, as well as what happens in terms of compensation during an employee's leave.

The main question is the reason for the leave — why is an employee asking for a leave of absence? The law clearly regulates that, for the required types of leave, employees shouldn't suffer any negative consequences upon their return to work.

Let's check out the rules and regulations regarding required and non-required leave in Mississippi.

Mississippi required leave

There are many situations when an employee is entitled to take a leave of absence, without being treated differently in any way upon their return to work.

What the state law doesn't regulate is the compensation during the leave period. Employers can choose whether the leave will be paid or unpaid.

So here's the full list of leave requirements that employers must allow:

Family and medical leave

This is a type of a required but unpaid leave that all employers in the state of Mississippi must offer to their employees. Eligibility is in accordance with the federal regulation covered in the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA.

The FMLA states that all employees are eligible to use 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected work absence in a one-year period, for many household and medicinal-related reasons.

The reasons include the following:

To be eligible, an employee must work for the employer for at least a year and at least 1,250 work hours. Note that this is applicable to employers with over 50 employees only.

Additionally, in an effort to protect the families of the Armed Services, Congress amended the FMLA in 2008.

Since then, employers have also been required to provide up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave if an employee needs to take care of a member of the Armed Forces who:

This is applicable only if said member is the employee's spouse, parent, child, or next of kin.

Holiday leave

Public sector employers in Mississippi are legally required to offer either paid or unpaid leave for the period of any public holiday and celebrations related to it.

That implies that private employers are not required to offer this type of leave.

Jury duty leave

Under Mississippi law, if an employee is summoned to perform jury duty, employers must allow them to be absent from work during that time.

Moreover, the law states they can't terminate or penalize an employee in any way for the acceptance of jury duty.

Military leave

This type of leave is regulated on a federal level, by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act.

The act states that all employees in the US must be granted a leave of absence to serve in one of the following:

Upon the employee's return to work, they must be entitled to the same pay increases and other benefits as if they were present at work the whole time.

Crime victim leave

If an employee in Mississippi is a victim of a crime, their employer is required to offer paid or unpaid leave.

Apart from responding to a subpoena and participating in a criminal proceeding, the leave applies to the preparation period before said proceeding.

Moreover, such employees can't be discriminated against or treated differently upon their return to work.

Mississippi non-required leave

In Mississippi, there are 4 categories of leave that, by state law, employers are not required to offer to their employees.

Said categories are:

It is important to mention that the law also doesn't prohibit or restrict these types of leave.

Many company policies do offer some or all of the mentioned types of leave.

If that is the case, the exact terms must be clearly stated in the signed contract of employment.

Sick leave

Under Mississippi state law, employers are not required to offer any paid or unpaid sick days.

Vacation leave

The same applies to vacation leave — employers are not required to offer it.

As we've mentioned, employers who choose to offer this type of leave can include certain benefits, but all the details of the agreement between the two parties must be stated in the signed employment contract.

Voting time leave

Mississippi employers are not legally required to offer paid or unpaid leave for the sole purpose of voting.

Bereavement leave

Mississippi employers are not legally required to offer any paid or unpaid bereavement leave.

Child labor laws in Mississippi

Child labor laws are applicable for the employment of people aged under 18. We will use the term “minors'' to refer to this age category of employees.

Let's first mention the lower threshold for employment — children under 14 years of age are not allowed to be employed in the state of Mississippi.

The main purpose of both federal and Mississippi child labor laws is to prevent the exploitation of minors. Additionally, it helps them put education as a priority, while their employment only enhances their academic and life experience.

In order to be legally employed in the state of Mississippi, children under 16 who want to work in specific industries must obtain the Employment Certificate and submit it to their employer.

This mandated document is also known as the Work Permit and applies to work in:

In order to acquire this certificate, schools must be contacted. The school administrator or a guidance counselor will further determine if the minor in question meets the criteria for employment. If they do, the certificate will be issued.

Apart from the work in the above-mentioned positions, there are other relevant limitations in the state of Mississippi, which can be seen in the following categories:

While different rules and regulations are applicable to different age groups of minors, there is still one thing applicable to all age groups — they are forbidden to work in any hazardous positions, according to the federal law.

Next, let's take a look at some other rules stated in the state of Mississippi Child Labor Laws.

Specific labor laws for minors in Mississippi

The state of Mississippi enforces different rules for different age groups:

There are also some restrictions on child labor in specific industries.

To provide an example, all minors are prohibited from working with explosives and radioactive substances — we'll cover the details of prohibited occupations for minors in the state of Mississippi in one of the following segments.

Let's start with some restrictions to the maximum hours of work and night work for minors' employment.

The maximum number of work hours for minors in Mississippi

The maximum number of work hours is regulated for all minors and differs when school is in session and when it's not.

Let's first cover the regulations that are applicable when school is in session:

The second segment covers the regulations that are applicable when school is not in session:

Nightwork restrictions for minors in Mississippi

Another relevant category we've mentioned refers to the limits on how late a minor can work.

So, nightwork restrictions in Mississippi go as follows:

Now let's see what else is prohibited for minors residing and being employed in Mississippi.

Prohibited occupations for minors in Mississippi

We've previously mentioned that minors are prohibited from working in hazardous positions.

Now let's see what is considered hazardous in the state of Mississippi.

Here's the list of prohibited occupations for minors — including some that are considered so on a federal level, and not just the state level:

Those were just some examples — we still strongly advise you to check out your local government's website for the full list of prohibited occupations and any additional information that may be relevant.

Hiring laws in Mississippi

When it comes to the hiring and selection processes of Mississippi employers, the first thing to mention is that they are prohibited from making such decisions based on several factors.

The main anti-discrimination factors include the following categories:

Employees who suspect they were discriminated against should file a formal complaint, as such behavior is prohibited.

Termination laws in Mississippi

Like the majority of other states in the US, Mississippi also implements an “employment-at-will” regulation and policy.

Let us explain what that means for both employers and employees.

Final paycheck in Mississippi

Employers in the state of Mississippi are legally required to provide a final paycheck to everyone whose employment was terminated for any reason. The paycheck must include all the wages and benefits.

However, there are no laws and regulations regarding the due date for the final paycheck.

For this reason, the federal government encourages that such terms should be established in the written employment contract.

Discrimination laws in Mississippi

Discrimination in the workplace is not only unethical but also illegal — and this is something applicable on a federal level.

Here's the list of reasons employers are not allowed to take into account while managing their employees and looking for new ones:

Apart from these regulations, which are relevant on a federal level, there is an additional anti-discrimination regulation in Mississippi, based on the following employee status — smoking or off-duty tobacco use.

Occupational safety in Mississippi

A safe and healthy working environment is a must and both the federal and the Mississippi state laws require employers to provide optimal conditions. On a federal level, this is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), passed by Congress in 1970.

OSHA clearly states that employers are required to continually inspect for flaws and irregularities in the safety conditions, as well as continually work on improving them.

Every employer's obligation is to reduce and further try to eliminate the possibility of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities.

So, what are employers required to provide to ensure adequate workplace health and safety conditions?

For starters, proper training and education for all their employees immediately upon their employment.

Moreover, to comply with all the regulations, employers must conduct educational and advisory activities to assure safe and healthy working conditions.

There is another thing employers are required to do, to create optimal working conditions — the premises must be free from any recognized hazards that may cause harm.

Employers should regularly undertake safety demonstrations concerning health matters.

Effective enforcement of safety and health requirements is under the jurisdiction of OSHA inspectors, a.k.a. compliance safety and health officers.

Their inspections can happen with or without probable cause, for some of the following:

In Mississippi, the enforcement of Occupational Safety and Health Standards, both in the public and private sector workplaces, is regulated by the Mississippi Field Federal Safety and Health Councils.

Miscellaneous Mississippi labor laws

Those were the most important and common categories of labor laws that apply to all or some Mississippi employees.

Read on, as some of the following may also be applicable to your situation.

Here's what else is specifically regulated by the rule of law in Mississippi:

Whistleblower protection laws

The main purpose of this set of laws is to ensure that employees can exercise all of their legal rights without negative repercussions as a result.

The term “whistleblower” refers to employees who have inside knowledge of illegal practices or a safety hazard in the workplace.

Whistleblowers must be able to report such instances and continue being employed.

Some of the reasons why employees can't be discriminated against, or treated ‌differently include the following:

However, since the state of Mississippi does not have their own regulations on the topic, whistleblower laws extend protections only to public employees.

Background check laws

Background checks are allowed by all employers (but not required) and are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

This act regulates the collection, accuracy, and distribution of information in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — all employers must ensure they are following those requirements.

Only certain positions do require background checks for Mississippi employees and applicants, so let's see which ones.

COBRA laws

According to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, or COBRA, employees are allowed to retain health care insurance and benefits after the termination of employment.

Federal regulations also state the law can be applied to employers with over 20 employees, and the coverage can be extended to up to 30 months.

That is the reason why many states have their own version of this law, better known as the “mini-COBRA” regulation.

Mini-COBRA applies to small businesses with 2–19 employees and is enforced in Mississippi.

Therefore, the state's mini-COBRA ensures 12 months of continuation coverage, in case an employer has fewer than 20 employees.

Record-keeping laws

Employers whose businesses operate in Mississippi follow the FLSA rules and are therefore required to keep the records of all their employees for at least 3 years.

So, if you're wondering what types and categories of information such records should consist of, read on.

Here's the full list:

There are some other record-keeping laws that may apply to your situation.

Here's what else the Mississippi employers are required to keep on record, and for how long:

Conclusion/Disclaimer

We hope this Mississippi labor law guide has been helpful. We once again remind you to make sure you've paid attention to the links we've provided, as most of them will lead you to the official websites and other relevant information.

Please note that this guide was written in Q2 2022, so any changes in the labor laws that were included later than that may not be included in this Mississippi labor laws guide.

We strongly advise you to consult with the appropriate institutions and/or certified representatives before acting on any legal matters.

Clockify is not responsible for any losses or risks incurred, should this guide be used without further guidance from legal or tax advisors.

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