Mississippi has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. Mississippi’s Legislature and its courts are silent regarding any obligation an employer may have regarding vacation leave, including whether an employer must pay an employee accrued vacation leave upon separation from employment.
Due to the silence of Mississippi authorities on the matter of vacation leave, it is likely employers are free to establish the vacation leave policy of their choosing. An employer would be required to comply with the terms of a valid employment contract containing vacation leave provisions.
Mississippi law does not require employers to provide employees with sick leave benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide sick leave benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
An employer in Mississippi may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
Mississippi law does not require private employers to provide employees with either paid or unpaid holiday leave. In Mississippi, a private employer can require an employee to work holidays.
A private employer does not have to pay an employee premium pay, such as 1½ times the regular rate, for working on holidays, unless such time worked qualifies the employee for overtime under standard overtime laws. If an employer chooses to provide either paid or unpaid holiday leave, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Visit our Mississippi State Holidays page for a list of holidays recognized and observed by the state of Mississippi as well as information regarding state laws governing holiday leave for public employers and employees.
Jury Duty Leave
An employer is not required to pay an employee any wages for time spent complying with a jury summons or serving on a jury.
An employer may not persuade or attempt to persuade any employee to avoid jury service or discharge, intimidate, threaten or otherwise subject an employee to an adverse employment action as a result of jury service if the employee notifies the employer he or she has been summoned to serve as a juror within a reasonable period of time after receiving a summons.
An employer may not require or request an employee to use annual, vacation, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or time spent actually serving on a jury. MS Statute 13-5-35
Mississippi does not have a law which requires an employer to grant its employees leave, either paid or unpaid, to vote.
Mississippi law does not require employers to provide employees bereavement leave or leave to attend funerals. Bereavement leave is leave that is taken by an employee due to the death of another individual, usually a close relative. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.
Family And Medical Leave
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal policy that requires employers to provide time off to their employees. However, employees must meet qualifications to be eligible for this type of leave.
These eligibility requirements include:
- Employees must have worked for their employer for a minimum of one year
- Employees must have worked 1250 hours the previous year at a minimum
- Employees must work in a location with 50+ employees within a 75-mile radius
Unlike other states, Mississippi doesn’t currently have additional medical leave options for employees.
As such, the FMLA provides blanket coverage under specific medical-related instances. These instances include:
- Recovering from an ailment
- Helping a family member recover from an ailment
- Caring for an ill or injured military family member
- Bonding with a new child
With FMLA coverage, employees are entitled to receive 12 weeks of unpaid time off within 12 months. This type of leave renews every 12 months if employees continue to meet the above eligibility criteria.
When caring for an ill or injured military family member, your leave extends to 26 weeks within 12 months.
Military members in Mississippi are entitled to the same benefits that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) offers, including:
- Employees have the right to continue group healthcare benefits for 24 months of their leave
- Upon return, employees must be reinstated to the exact (or equivalent) previously held position
- Employees must receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service (with exceptions)
In Mississippi, members of the armed forces and veterans can take unpaid time off for military duties and training.
After employees have completed their leave, they can receive their former position or a similar position. Additionally, employees must provide their employers with evidence their training has been completed.
In line with USERRA guidelines, employers cannot discriminate against employees requiring leave for military duties. Additionally, employers cannot threaten employees if they require leave to enlist in the armed forces.
At this time, there aren’t any additional leave options available to military-enlisted employees.