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Employment Discrimin...


Mississippi has no general law regarding fair employment but employer discrimination is prohibited as codified in the sections below of the Mississippi Code Annotated.

Discrimination Against Military Service Personnel
SEC. 25-9-103. State personnel system - Equal employment opportunity.
The state personnel board herein established shall administer a state personnel system in accordance with the following principles:

(a) To recruit, select and advance employees on the basis of their relative ability, knowledge and skills, including open consideration of qualified applicants for initial appointment;

(b) To provide equitable and adequate compensation;

(c) To train employees, as needed, to assure high quality performance;

(d) To retain employees on the basis of the adequacy of their performance, to correct inadequate performance, and to separate employees whose inadequate performance cannot be corrected;

(e) To assure fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel administration without regard to political affiliation, race, national origin, sex, religious creed, age or disability;

(f) To assure that employees are free from coercion for partisan or political purposes and to prohibit employees from using their official authority for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office;

(g) To provide authority for the establishment and abolishment of employment positions within the departments, agencies and institutions covered under the provisions of this chapter.

SEC. 25-9-107. Definitions.

The following terms, when used in this chapter, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context, shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Board" shall mean the State Personnel Board created under the provisions of this chapter.

(b) "State service" shall mean all employees of state departments, agencies and institutions as defined herein, except those officers and employees excluded by this chapter.

(c) "Nonstate service" shall mean the following officers and employees excluded from the state service by this chapter. The following are excluded from the state service:

(i) Members of the state Legislature, their staffs and other employees of the legislative branch;

(ii) The Governor and staff members of the immediate Office of the Governor;

(iii) Justices and judges of the judicial branch or members of appeals boards on a per diem basis;

(iv) The Lieutenant Governor, staff members of the immediate Office of the Lieutenant Governor and officers and employees directly appointed by the Lieutenant Governor;

(v) Officers and officials elected by popular vote and persons appointed to fill vacancies in elective offices;

(vi) Members of boards and commissioners appointed by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor or the state Legislature;

(vii) All academic officials, members of the teaching staffs and employees of the state institutions of higher learning, the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges, and community and junior colleges;

(viii) Officers and enlisted members of the National Guard of the state;

(ix) Prisoners, inmates, student or patient help working in or about institutions;

(x) Contract personnel; provided, that any agency which employs state service employees may enter into contracts for personal and professional services only if such contracts are approved in compliance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personal Service Contract Review Board under Section 25-9-120(3). Before paying any warrant for such contractual services in excess of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00), the Auditor of Public Accounts, or the successor to those duties, shall determine whether the contract involved was for personal or professional services, and, if so, was approved by the State Personal Service Contract Review Bo ard * * *;

(xi) Part-time employees; provided, however, part-time employees shall only be hired into authorized employment positions classified by the board, shall meet minimum qualifications as set by the board, and shall be paid in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan as certified by the board;

(xii) Persons appointed on an emergency basis for the duration of the emergency; the effective date of the emergency appointments shall not be earlier than the date approved by the State Personnel Director, and shall be limited to thirty (30) working days. Emergency appointments may be extended to sixty (60) working days by the State Personnel Board;

(xiii) Physicians, dentists, veterinarians, nurse practitioners and attorneys, while serving in their professional capacities in authorized employment positions who are required by statute to be licensed, registered or otherwise certified as such, provided that the State Personnel Director shall verify that the statutory qualifications are met prior to issuance of a payroll warrant by the auditor;

(xiv) Personnel who are employed and paid from funds received from a federal grant program which has been approved by the Legislature or the Department of Finance and Administration whose length of employment has been determined to be time-limited in nature. This subparagraph shall apply to personnel employed under the provisions of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973, as amended, and other special federal grant programs which are not a part of regular federally funded programs wherein appropriations and employment positions are appropriated by the Legislature. Such employees shall be paid in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan and shall meet all qualifications required by federal statutes or by the Mississippi Classification Plan;

(xv) The administrative head who is in charge of any state department, agency, institution, board or commission, wherein the statute specifically authorizes the Governor, board, commission or other authority to appoint said administrative head; provided, however, that the salary of such administrative head shall be determined by the State Personnel Board in accordance with the Variable Compensation Plan unless otherwise fixed by statute;

(xvi) The State Personnel Board shall exclude top level positions if the incumbents determine and publicly advocate substantive program policy and report directly to the agency head, or the incumbents are required to maintain a direct confidential working relationship with a key excluded official. Provided further, a written job classification shall be approved by the board for each such position, and positions so excluded shall be paid in conformity with the Variable Compensation Plan;

(xvii) Employees whose employment is solely in connection with an agency's contract to produce, store or transport goods, and whose compensation is derived therefrom;

(xviii) Personnel employed by the State Prison Emergency Construction and Management Board, paid from funds from the "Correctional Facilities Emergency Construction Fund," or employed under contracts let or approved by the board for the construction, acquisition, lease, lease-purchase or operation of prison facilities. This subparagraph shall stand repealed from and after July 1, 1996;

(xix) The associate director, deputy directors and bureau directors within the Department of Agriculture and Commerce.

(d) "Agency" means any state board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof created by the Constitution or statutes if such board, commission, committee, council, department, unit or the head thereof, is authorized to appoint subordinate staff by the Constitution or statute, except a legislative or judicial board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof .

SEC. 25-9-127. Prerequisites to dismissal or action adversely affecting compensation or employment status; exceptions.
Section 25-9-127, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

(1) No employee of any department, agency or institution who is included under this chapter or hereafter included under its authority, and who is subject to the rules and regulations prescribed by the state personnel system may be dismissed or otherwise adversely affected as to compensation or employment status except for inefficiency or other good cause, and after written notice and hearing within the department, agency or institution as shall be specified in the rules and regulations of the State Personnel Board complying with due process of law; and any employee who has by written notice of dismissal or action adversely affecting his compensation or employment status shall, on hearing and on any appeal of any decision made in such action, be required to furnish evidence that the reasons stated in the notice of dismissal or action adversely affecting his compensation or employment status are not true or are not sufficient grounds for the action taken; provided, however, that this provision shall not apply (a) to persons separated from any department, agency or institution due to curtailment of funds or reduction in staff when such separation is in accordance with rules and regulations of the state personnel system; (b) during the probationary period of state service of twelve (12) months; and (c) to an executive officer of any state agency who serves at the will and pleasure of the Governor, board, commission or other appointing authority.

(2) The operation of a state-owned motor vehicle without a valid Mississippi driver's license by an employee of any department, agency or institution that is included under this chapter and that is subject to the rules and regulations of the state personnel system shall constitute good cause for dismissal of such person from employment.

(3) Beginning July 1, 1999, every male between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-six (26) who is required to register under the federal Military Selective Service Act, 50 USCS App. 453, and who is an employee of the state shall not be promoted to any higher position of employment with the state until he submits to the person, commission, board or agency by which he is employed satisfactory documentation of his compliance with the draft registration requirements of the Military Selective Service Act. The documentation shall include a signed affirmation under penalty of perjury that the male employee has complied with the requirements of the federal selective service ac t.

SEC. 25-9-131. Proceedings before employee appeals board; judicial review.

(1) Any employee in the state service may appeal his dismissal or other action adversely affecting his employment status to the employee appeals board created herein. The proceedings before the employee appeals board shall be de novo, and the employee shall be afforded all applicable safeguards of procedural due process. The employee appeals board shall have the authority to administer oaths and affirmations and to issue subpeonas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, records or other documentary evidence upon a showing of relevancy or materiality of the witnesses or documents to an appeal pending before the board. Subpoenas so issued shall be delivered to the sheriff of the county where they are to be executed, and the sheriff shall cause them to be served. In case of the failure of any person to comply with any subpoena issued by the board, the board or its authorized representative may invoke the aid of any court of this state of general jurisdiction. The court may thereupon order such person to comply with the requirements of the subpoena. Failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof. The employee appeals board may modify the action of the department, agency or institution but may not increase the severity of such action on the employee. Such appointing authority shall promptly comply with the order issued as a result of the appeal to the employee appeals board.

(2) Any employee aggrieved by a final decision of the employee appeals board shall be entitled to judicial review thereof in the manner provided by law.

(3) It is the intent of sections 25-9-127 to 25-9-131 to supercede and replace any existing statutory procedure conflicting in whole or in part which provides for the discharge of state employees in any state agency .

SEC. 25-9-149. Discriminatory practices prohibited.

It is the intent of the legislature that no person seeking employment in state service, as defined in section 25-9-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, or employed in state service, as defined in section 25-9-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or handicap .

SEC. 43-6-15. Government employment - Disability discrimination prohibited.

No person shall be refused employment in state services, the service of political subdivisions of the state, in public schools, or any other employment supported in whole or in part by public funds, by reason of his being blind, visually handicapped, deaf, or otherwise physically handicapped, unless such disability shall materially affect the performance of the work required by the job for which such person applies.

SEC. 71-7-33. Tobacco use during nonworking hours - Discrimination prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any public or private employer to require as a condition of employment that any employee or applicant for employment abstain from smoking or using tobacco products during nonworking hours, provided that the individual complies with applicable laws or policies regulating smoking on the premises of the employer during working hours.

Discrimination Against Military Service Personnel

Sec. 33-1-15. [Military service; Prohibited discrimination].

Any person, firm or corporation who alone, or in conjunction with others, wilfully deprives a member of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, or any former member of the service of the United States discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable, of his employment, prevents his being employed by himself or another, or discriminates in any of the conditions or emoluments of his employment because of his membership in such reserve component, or former membership in such service; or, by threat of injury to him, physical or otherwise, dissuades or attempts to dissuade any person from enlistment, or acceptance of a warrant or commission, in any reserve or active component of the armed forces of the United States shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

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