2018 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representatives Baker, Turner, Arnold, Willis, Kinkade
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE REGULATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A NONPUBLIC EMPLOYER AND ITS EMPLOYEES IS A MATTER OF STATE CONCERN AND OUTSIDE THE EXPRESS OR IMPLIED AUTHORITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL BODIES TO REGULATE, ABSENT EXPRESS DELEGATION OF THAT AUTHORITY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL BODY; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 17-1-51, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES THAT NO COUNTY, BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF A COUNTY, MUNICIPALITY OR GOVERNING AUTHORITY OF A MUNICIPALITY MAY ESTABLISH A MANDATORY, MINIMUM LIVING WAGE RATE AND MINIMUM NUMBER OF VACATION OR SICK DAYS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature finds that regulation of the employment relationship between a nonpublic employer and its employees is a matter of state concern and is outside the express or implied authority of local governmental bodies to regulate, absent express delegation of that authority to the local governmental body.
(2) The following words and phrases shall have the meanings as defined in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Employee" means a person employed in this state by an employer.
(b) "Employer" means a person or entity engaging in or intending to engage in a commercial activity, enterprise or business in this state, but excludes a local governmental body or an educational institution.
(c) "Local governmental body" means any local government or its subdivision, including, but not limited to, a city, village, township, county or educational institution; a local public authority, agency, board, commission or other local governmental, quasi-governmental, or quasi-public body; or a public body that acts or purports to act in a commercial, business, economic development or similar capacity for a local government or its subdivision.
(d) "Ordinance, local policy or local resolution" does not include the terms of an agreement voluntarily offered to a local governmental body by an owner, purchaser or developer of property.
(3) A local governmental body shall not adopt, enforce or administer an ordinance, local policy or local resolution regulating work stoppage or strike activity of employers and their employees or the means by which employees may organize.
(4) A local governmental body shall not adopt, enforce or administer an ordinance, local policy or local resolution requiring an employer to provide to an employee paid or unpaid leave time.
(5) A local governmental body shall not adopt, enforce or administer an ordinance, local policy or local resolution regulating hours and scheduling that an employer is required to provide to employees. This subsection (5) does not prohibit an ordinance, local policy or local resolution that limits the hours a business may operate.
(6) A local governmental body shall not adopt, enforce or administer an ordinance, local policy or local resolution requiring an employer to provide to an employee any specific fringe benefit or any other benefit for which the employer would incur an expense.
(7) A local governmental body shall not adopt, enforce or administer an ordinance, local policy or local resolution regulating or creating administrative or judicial remedies for wage, hour or benefit disputes.
(8) If any parts of this act are found to be in conflict with the Mississippi Constitution, the United States Constitution, or federal law, this act shall be implemented to the maximum extent that the Mississippi Constitution, the United States Constitution, or federal law permit. Any provision held invalid or inoperative is severable from the remaining portions of this section.
(9) This section does not prohibit a local governmental body from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, policy or resolution prohibiting employment discrimination.
(10) This section does not prohibit a local governmental body from adopting, enforcing or administering an ordinance, local policy or local resolution that provides for the terms and conditions of a voluntary agreement between an employer and the local governmental body in connection with the provision of services directly related to the local governmental body or in connection with the receipt of a grant, tax abatement or tax credit from the local governmental body.
SECTION 2. Section 17-1-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
17-1-51. (1) No county, board of supervisors of a county, municipality or governing authority of a municipality is authorized to establish a mandatory, minimum living wage rate, minimum number of vacation or sick days, whether paid or unpaid, that would regulate how a private employer pays its employees. Each county, board of supervisors of a county, municipality or governing authority of a municipality shall be prohibited from establishing a mandatory, minimum living wage rate, minimum number of vacation or sick days, whether paid or unpaid, that would regulate how a private employer pays its employees.
(2) The Legislature finds that the prohibitions of subsection (1) of this section are necessary to ensure an economic climate conducive to new business development and job growth in the State of Mississippi. We believe that inconsistent application of wage and benefit laws from city to city or county to county must be avoided. While not suggesting a state minimum wage or minimum benefit package, any debate and subsequent action on these matters should be assigned to the Mississippi Legislature as provided in Section 25-3-40, and not local counties or municipalities.
(3) The Legislature further finds that wages and employee benefits comprise the most significant expense of operating a business. It also recognizes that neither potential employees or business patrons are likely to restrict themselves to employment opportunities or goods and services in any particular county or municipality. Consequently, local variations in legally required minimum wage rates or mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days would threaten many businesses with a loss of employees to local governments which require a higher minimum wage rate and many other businesses with the loss of patrons to areas which allow for a lower wage rate and more or less vacation or sick days. The net effect of this situation would be detrimental to the business environment of the state and to the citizens, businesses and governments of the local jurisdictions as well as the local labor markets.
(4) The Legislature concludes from these findings that, in order for a business to remain competitive and yet attract and retain the highest possible caliber of employees, and thereby remain sound, an enterprise must work in a uniform environment with respect to minimum wage rates, and mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days. The net impact of local variations in mandated wages and mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days would be economically unstable and create a decline and decrease in the standard of living for the citizens of the state. Consequently, decisions regarding minimum wage, living wage and other employee benefit policies must be made by the state as provided in Section 25-3-40, so that consistency in the wage market is preserved.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after June 30, 2018.