Mississippi National Origin Discrimination laws & HR compliance analysis

Mississippi National Origin Discrimination: What you need to know

Private employers. 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 civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits discrimination based on national origin. Title VII also prohibits employers from retaliating against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination.
Harassment. Title VII also prohibits in the workplace harassment that is based on an individual's national origin. Harassing conduct, such as ethnic slurs, is unlawful when it unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates a hostile work environment.
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Public employers. State law prohibits state employers from discriminating against applicants for employment and employees on the basis of national origin (MS Code Sec. 25-9-103 et seq). However, the law does not specify unlawful employment practices and does not provide for enforcement mechanisms.
The EEOC has published guidelines for employers regarding English-only policies in the workplace, including the following recommendations:
• An employer may not base a decision on an employee's foreign accent unless the accent materially interferes with job performance.
• A fluency requirement is only permissible if required for the effective performance of the position for which it is imposed.
• English-only rules must be adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons.
• An English-only rule may be used if it is needed to promote the safe or efficient operation of the employer's business.
• If ...

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