Private employers. Mississippi has no comprehensive fair employment law covering private employers. Employers with 15 or more employees are covered by federal law prohibiting sex discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates federal law under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
Sexual harassment includes:
• Physical, including unwelcome touching or gesturing
• Verbal, including unwelcome requests for a date or sexual favors, or lewd remarks or sounds
• Visual, including unwelcome exposure to sexual photos, cartoons, or drawings
Additional information is available.
In order to establish a claim of hostile work environment based on sexual harassment, the offensive conduct must be sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of the alleged victim's employment. Generally, the more severe and offensive the conduct is, the less frequently it has to occur before it constitutes sexual harassment. In fact, courts have found that sexual harassment can occur with a single offensive act, if the conduct is sufficiently severe (e.g., acts that include physical contact).
The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has ruled that isolated incidents of a supervisor touching an employee can be sufficiently severe to establish a hostile work environment claim if the conduct is particularly egregious (Taylor-Rogers v. Robb and Stucky, Ltd., 82 Fed. Appx. 974 (5th Cir. 2003)). In this case, the employee alleged that the supervisor had touched her and made sexually suggestive comments to her.
Public employers. State employers are required to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment. The law protects any employee, probationary employee, or applicant ...