Mississippi is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason. (Caution: A federal or state law, collective bargaining agreement, or individual employment contract may place further limitations on an otherwise at-will employment relationship.)
Despite a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, a Mississippi court may find and enforce an implied contract of employment, particularly in those instances in which the employee has relied on the employer's oral “promises” regarding employment to his or her detriment. However, it is important to note that the Mississippi Supreme Court has indicated that an employee's mere forfeiture of current employment in exchange for a new position is not enough to sustain an implied contract claim. Instead, an employee must suffer a further detriment, such as losing valuable retirement benefits, in order to effectively defeat the at-will presumption (Bowers Window and Door Co. v. Dearman, 549 So. 2d 1309 (Miss. 1989)).
Therefore, although a stray or casual remark regarding job security will rarely, if ever, result in the formation of an employment contract, employers are best advised to avoid making any such statements.