Mississippi Employee Handbooks laws & HR compliance analysis

Mississippi Employee Handbooks: What you need to know

Employee handbooks should be drafted according to the particular needs of each individual workplace and in accordance with the requirements of state and federal law. Employers should try to develop policies and procedures that reflect the company's size, employee needs, and company philosophy. Employers should have an attorney familiar with state labor and employment laws review their handbooks for legal accuracy and timeliness. Outdated or erroneous policies can be as dangerous as not having policies at all.
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Employers should exercise caution when developing handbooks and related policy statements. To avoid implied contract claims, employers should issue only general statements of policy in employee handbooks and should always include an explicit statement reserving the right to alter, amend, or change any handbook policy at any time and for any reason.
Mississippi is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
In keeping with a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, the Mississippi Supreme Court has held that as long as a clear and sufficient disclaimer statement has been included as part of the employee handbook or policy manual, additional policy statements contained therein may not give rise to an employment contract (Perry v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 508 So.2d 1086 (Miss. 1987)).
However, without such a disclaimer, an employer may be contractually obligated to adhere to the policies in the handbook, e.g., a progressive discipline policy (Bobbitt ...

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