Mississippi Labor Law Breaks
In Mississippi, employers are not compelled by law to give their staff members a lunch or a break. Employers have the option of providing both meal and rest intervals. Federal laws are applicable in those situations. According to the legislation, if an employer does provide either kind of break,
Up to 20-minute meal breaks must be paid for; Longer meal breaks might be either compensated or unpaid depending on the employer’s discretion; Rest periods of up to 20 minutes must be compensated.
Mississippi Meal Laws
The state of Mississippi currently does not have laws mandating that employees be given breaks for meals. The United States also does not have a law in regard to mandated meal breaks. This means that an employer can require an employee to work ten or more hours without a break. However many employees do provide breaks for full-time employees. The breaks are normally not paid and require employees to clock off. Some employees complain that they must clock off in the middle of their days; however if it is company policy to take a meal break, then the employees must comply.
Not only are meal breaks not paid, but they can also not exceed thirty minutes. These breaks often are in the middle of a seven and one half hour shift. When company regulations state that an employee is to be unpaid for a meal break, he or she is required not to complete any work while off the clock. Breaks must also be taken whenever company policy stipulates. If an employee decides to skip his or her meal break, an employer is not required to let him or her leave work early. Discipline may follow.
Other breaks throughout the day are not required but are often provided. These breaks are often ten minutes long and are paid for. Employers are not required to provide these breaks but often do to ensure efficiency. Restroom breaks are also not required by law, although restroom facilities are required to be easily accessible.
Family and Medical Leave
Since Mississippi does not have a state law in regard to personal leave, companies and businesses instead use federal law. This law is mandatory under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act allow employees to take a leave of absence for medical or family purposes. These purposes often include the care of an elderly parent, the care of an ill child, hospitalization, maternity leave, or any other psychological or medical necessity.
In the United States, maternity leave allows mothers the opportunity to care for their newborns as well as allows adoptive parents to bond with their new children. This kind of leave can also be used for pregnancy complications.
The Family and Medical Leave Act protect employees from termination. Leave is to be unpaid and can last no more than twelve weeks. These weeks must be taken consecutively and cannot be spread throughout the year. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also protects expectant employees from termination and discrimination in the workplace.
Mississippi Minimum Wage
In 2009 the federal minimum wage was raised to seven dollars and twenty-five cents. This required all states to raise their minimum wages to meet or exceed this level. The state of Mississippi raised its minimum wage to mirror the federal minimum.
Under law, employers are then required to pay employees no less than this minimum wage. However, employees who are normally tipped may be paid two dollars and thirteen cents an hour legally. For this to be legal, employees must first make thirty dollars or more in tips each month.