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What are the requirements relating to advertising open positions?
Mississippi has no statutory authority addressing the advertisement of open positions.
What can employers do with regard to background checks and inquiries?
(a) Criminal records and arrests
Mississippi does not require all employers to conduct background checks on all prospective employees. Rather, the particular job and industry will dictate whether special circumstances require a reasonable employer to check an applicant’s criminal background. For example, the State Department of Education must obtain current criminal records, background checks, and current child abuse registry checks on all persons applying for a position as a school attendance officer (Miss. Code. Ann. § 37-13-89). Similarly, criminal background checks are also required for persons associated with child residential facilities (see Miss. Code Ann. § 43-15-6). When a background check is used in the context of hiring, applicants who have expunged criminal records cannot be refused employment for denying the existence of a criminal history.
(b) Medical history
Mississippi has no laws prohibiting an employer from requiring an applicant to undergo a pre-employment medical screening.
(c) Drug screening
Employers may require job applicants to submit to a drug and alcohol test as a condition of employment and may use an applicant’s refusal to submit to a test or positive test results as a basis for refusing to hire him or her (see Miss. Code Ann. § 71-7-5(b)). However, employers must give job applicants notice of the possibility of drug and alcohol testing and pay for the tests.
(d) Credit checks
Mississippi does not prohibit employers from performing a credit check on potential employees. However, if credit checks are used, the employer must disclose and report whether it intends to use the credit reports as part of the hiring process.
(e) Immigration status
Employers in Mississippi can only hire employees who are legal citizens of the United States or legal aliens (Miss. Code. Ann. § 71-11-3). Accordingly, Mississippi employers must register with and use the status verification system to verify the federal employment authorization status of all newly hired employees.
(f) Social media
Mississippi has no statute addressing the role of social media accounts in hiring.
Mississippi has a nepotism policy (see Miss. Code. Ann. § 25-1-53). Under this policy, it is:
“unlawful for any person elected, appointed or selected in any manner whatsoever to any state, county, district or municipal office, or for any board of trustees of any state institution, to appoint or employ, as an officer, clerk, stenographer, deputy or assistant who is to be paid out of the public funds, any person related by blood or marriage within the third degree.”
The prohibition against nepotism in municipalities is limited to appointment to, or employment in, certain positions or jobs, not to contracts with the municipality.
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