Salaried employees refer to individuals who receive predetermined fixed compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently.
Mississippi has implemented specific laws and regulations that outline the rights and obligations of salaried employees and their employers.
This article provides an overview of these laws, including details about payment methods, break and leave entitlements, and the distinction between exempt and non-exempt employees.
This article covers:
- Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Mississippi
- Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Mississippi
- Pay for Working Overtime for Mississippi Salaried Employees
- Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Mississippi Salaried Employees
- Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Mississippi
- Male and Female Salaried Employees in Mississippi
- Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Mississippi
- Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Mississippi
- Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Mississippi
- Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Mississippi
As per Mississippi regulations, employers are obligated to provide payment to their employees every two weeks. This translates to bi-monthly payroll cycles, where employees must receive their earnings within 13 days after the conclusion of each pay period.
However, this obligation applies exclusively to public labor or public service corporations, as well as manufacturing employers with a workforce of 50 or more employees. Private employers are not subject to this stipulation.
Oftentimes, employers may have to set up pay periods and approvals with their employees and ensure that they are complied with.
In Mississippi, specific salaried workers are eligible to receive overtime compensation. A salaried employee, who receives a fixed salary regardless of actual hours worked, can still be entitled to extra pay even if they exceed their scheduled hours.
To determine the overtime rate of salaried employees, tracking work hours may be quite important for the accuracy of calculations. Employers should first calculate the employee’s hourly rate by dividing the salary by the hours the salary covers. This hourly rate is then used in the formula:
Hourly rate x Overtime hours x Overtime rate (1.5).
It’s important to remember that if an employee’s salary doesn’t cover a full 40-hour workweek (for example their salary is for a 35-hour workweek), their regular rate will be added for hours worked beyond this threshold until reaching 40 hours. Only after 40 hours will time-and-a-half (1.5x) be applied.
If an employee’s salary already encompasses 40 hours, additional hours will receive time-and-a-half pay (1.5x).
Understanding labor laws is crucial for both employees and employers to ensure fair compensation for work. However, Mississippi’s adherence to federal overtime regulations includes exceptions for certain categories of workers:
- Administrative, executive, professional, and outside sales employees ,earning at least $684 weekly.
- White-collar employees, bona fide executives, administrative, and professionals, with a minimum weekly earnings of $684.
- Outside salespeople, earning at least $684 weekly.
- Computer employees.
- Minors and young workers.
- Agricultural and farm workers.
- Seasonal workers.
- Government service workers.
- Domestic service employees in private homes.
- Babysitters working in the employer’s home.
- Companions for elderly, sick, or recovering individuals.
- Newspaper delivery workers.
- Full-time and vocational students.
- Employees with disabilities.
- Employees of certain non-profit and educational organizations with Department of Labor certification (earning a minimum of 85% of applicable minimum wage).
- Independent contractors (as they are not considered traditional employees).
- Transportation workers.
- Live-in employees (like housekeepers).
- Motion picture theater employees.
- Announcers, news editors, and chief engineers in specific non-metropolitan broadcasting stations.
Learn more in detail about Mississippi Overtime Laws.
In Mississippi, where specific state laws concerning payment schedules and deductions are absent, employees often find it more effective to directly take legal action against their employers to recover unpaid wages. Another option is to contact the U.S. Department of Labor for assistance in initiating a complaint against the employer for unpaid wages.
In instances where discrepancies arise regarding the amount in an employee’s paycheck, pursuing a wage and hour claim may become necessary. This involves legal proceedings aimed at determining whether the employee is entitled to compensation for outstanding wage amounts, damages, and related matters. Common legal disputes that can arise in a wage and hour claim encompass various issues including disputes over delayed or missing wage payments.
To build a strong case during a wage and hour claim, it is advisable for the employee to gather relevant evidence and documents that may be used in court. This could entail essential items such as employment agreements, employee handbooks, prior pay stubs, bank statements, and similar records. For assistance in assembling such documentation, legal counsel can offer valuable guidance.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal regulations aimed at preventing pay discrimination among workers. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) mandates equal compensation for equal work between men and women in the same workplace.
Further, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) all prohibit pay discrimination based on factors like sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Retaliation against individuals opposing discriminatory pay practices or those filing discrimination charges, providing testimony, or participating in investigations under these Acts is also illegal.
On a state level, Mississippi’s recently enacted Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, active from July 1, 2022, offers protection against gender-based pay discrimination. However, this state law is narrower in scope than federal protections accessible to workers in Mississippi and includes wide-ranging defenses for employers.
In Mississippi, employees have access to various types of leave. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees who have worked for at least a year and completed 1,250 hours are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year. This can be used for reasons such as caring for a family member’s health condition or for child adoption. Public sector employees are entitled to paid or unpaid leave during public holidays.
Employers are also required to grant time off for employees summoned for jury duty and are prohibited from penalizing employees for fulfilling this civic duty. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act allows employees serving in the military to take time off work, with the right to return to their job with equivalent pay and benefits.
Additionally, Mississippi law mandates employers to offer paid or unpaid leave to employees who are victims of criminal activities and require time for legal processes, with protection against discrimination upon returning to work.
Employers in Mississippi are not obligated to grant their employees rest or meal breaks. However, if employers choose to offer breaks, they should adhere to federal regulations.
State law still specifies that, if provided, meal breaks shorter than 20 minutes must be paid, and breaks exceeding 30 minutes can be paid or unpaid, as determined by the employer. Similarly, any rest breaks under 20 minutes must be compensated.
Mississippi doesn’t have specific regulations on paycheck deductions or the necessity of employee consent for deductions. The absence of such laws suggests that employers in Mississippi might have the freedom to deduct wages from employees’ paychecks for reasons such as cash shortages, property damage, uniform or tool requirements, and other job-related necessities.
However, adhering to federal law, these deductions shouldn’t reduce an employee’s earnings below the federal minimum wage for the relevant pay period. For this reason, calculating deductions and breaks is important to avoid penalties.
Similar to many other US states, Mississippi adheres to the common “employment-at-will” principle. This signifies that employers can terminate employment contracts at their discretion, and employees are equally allowed to resign without consequences.
Following state laws, employers must provide a final paycheck to terminated employees, covering all owed wages and benefits. Nevertheless, specific regulations regarding the timeframe for this payment are absent. To address this, the federal government recommends addressing such matters within written employment agreements.
Learn more about Mississippi Labor Laws through our detailed guide.
Important Cautionary Note
When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.