Private employers. Mississippi has no comprehensive fair employment law covering private employers. However, employers with 15 or more employees are covered by federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color. In addition, employers may not retaliate against employees for engaging in a "protected activity," which includes:
• Opposing a discriminatory practice by the employer;
• Participating as a witness or a party in the investigation, processing, or hearing of an EEOC charge; or
• Filing a charge of discrimination.
Public employers. State law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race in the Mississippi state personnel system (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 specify unlawful employment practices and does not provide for enforcement mechanisms.