Mississippi Civil Rights: What you need to know

Mississippi has no comprehensive fair employment law covering private employers. However, most employers in the state that have 15 or more employees will be covered by federal fair employment laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, and genetic information. Federal law also prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and employees who are 40 years of age or older on the basis of age. Generally, employers may not retaliate against employees for engaging in a “protected activity,” which is defined as either:
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• Opposing a discriminatory practice by the employer, or
• Participating as a witness or a party in the investigation, processing, or hearing of an EEOC charge.
State law prohibits employment discrimination in the Mississippi state personnel system on the basis of political affiliation, race, national origin, sex, religious creed, age, or disability (MS Code Sec. 25-9-103 et seq.). The law sets forth the state's official policy that both applicants for state employment and existing state employees must be judged by nondiscriminatory criteria. However, the law does not specifically prohibit any particular employment practices and does not provide for enforcement mechanisms.
State regulations require contractors to include a nondiscrimination clause in contracts for services provided to the state (MS Admin. Code Sec. 27-2-1 Appx. D).
A separate state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of a physical disability in state employment, public schools, and in any other employment supported by state funds unless the ...

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