This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Mississippi.
Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Mississippi.
This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.
No federal or state laws require companies to provide employees with paid or unpaid vacation time in Mississippi.
Mississippi leave laws do not mention anything regarding vacation time, leaving it open for employers to enact a vacation policy as they see fit.
Use It or Lose It is not mentioned in Mississippi law, so employers are free to enforce such a policy if they choose to do so.
Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.
Mississippi law does not require employers to pay out unpaid PTO or vacation time upon job separation (such as when an employee quits, is fired or retires).
Mississippi does not have any state laws regarding sick leave. It’s up the employer’s discretion whether to provide paid or unpaid sick leave.
Employers in Mississippi must, however, comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.
The following are official state holidays in Mississippi:
|January 1||New Year’s Day|
|3rd Monday in January||Martin Luther King, Jr Day|
|3rd Monday in February||Presidents’ Day|
|4th Monday in April||Confederate Memorial Day|
|Last Monday in May||Memorial Day|
|July 4||Independence Day|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
|Day after Thanksgiving||Thanksgiving Friday|
|December 25||Christmas Day|
There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.
Mississippi does not have any laws regarding maternity leave, paid or unpaid.
The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.
Paternity leave is also not covered by state law.
However, fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.
There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in Mississippi. Employers can choose whether to provide bereavement leave, and if so, whether this leave is paid or unpaid.
Employers do not have to provide paid leave for employees serving jury duty, but they must allow employees to perform their jury service, without persuading the employee to avoid jury duty, or in any way threatening or penalizing them for serving as a juror.
Employers in Mississippi are not required to give leave to employees to give time to vote.
Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Mississippi, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.
Anything not covered in Mississippi state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.
However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.
For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.