Private employers. Mississippi has no comprehensive fair employment law that covers private employers. However, private employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please see the national Disabilities section.
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Public employers. The Discrimination in State Employment Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability (MS Code Sec. 25-9-103). The Handicapped Discrimination in State Employment Law prohibits discrimination against an individual who is blind, visually handicapped, or otherwise physically handicapped unless the disability materially affects the performance of the work required by the job. The law applies to state employment, public schools, and in any other employment supported in whole or in part by state funds (MS Code Sec. 43-6-15). The State Personnel Board has issued a statement of equal opportunity employment for all individuals, and follows the guidelines set forth by the ADA.
The ADA prohibits employers from inquiring about disabilities until after a conditional offer of employment is made, and then only if it makes the same inquiries of all prospective employees in the same job category. An employer may conduct a physical fitness or agility test to measure an employee's ability to perform job tasks. The ADA requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for the known physical and mental limitations of otherwise qualified individuals who are applicants or employees, provided such accommodations do not create an undue hardship.
A "disability" is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record ...