2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Moss, Cummings
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI WORKING PERSON'S ACT; TO REQUIRE THAT A CERTAIN WAGE BE PAID BY EMPLOYERS DOING BUSINESS IN THE STATE TO ANY EMPLOYEE WITHIN THEIR EMPLOYMENT; TO PROVIDE HOW THE HOURLY RATE INCREASE SHALL BE CALCULATED; TO REQUIRE THE STATE ECONOMIST TO ANNOUNCE THE HOURLY WAGE RATE INCREASE; TO AMEND SECTION 25-3-40, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the "Mississippi Working Person's Act."
SECTION 2. The Legislature finds that there is a need for gainful employment that allows the citizens of this state to be compensated at a living wage. The intent of the Legislature is to increase the minimum wage for citizens of this state above the minimum wage established by federal law. The Legislature recognizes and supports that whenever federal law increases the federal minimum wage above the wage established by this act, such federal wage increase shall supersede the wage established by this act.
SECTION 3. (1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any employer doing business in the state shall pay any employee within his employment at least: (i) Six Dollars and Twenty-five Cents ($6.25) per hour beginning on the effective date of this act; and (ii) Seven Dollars and Twenty-five Cents ($7.25) per hour beginning six (6) months after the effective date of this act.
On and after January 15, 2009, and January 15 of each succeeding calendar year, the hourly wage required by this section shall be increased by applying the United States inflation rate for the previous calendar year to the hourly wage established for the previous calendar year and shall be effective on the date announced by the State Economist as provided under paragraph (b) of this subsection (1). The United States inflation rate for a calendar year shall be the Consumer Price Index for the calendar year for all urban consumers as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.
(b) The State Economist shall: (i) make an official announcement of the hourly wage rate increase on January 15 of each calendar year, or as soon thereafter as possible; (ii) cause the dissemination of such announcement to the news media in such manner as such economist deems appropriate; and (iii) file the same with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. The hourly wage rate shall be effective from the date of the official announcement by the State Economist.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this subsection (2), an employer of a tipped employee shall be entitled to an allowance as a part of the hourly wage required by subsection (1) of this section. The allowance shall be in an amount equal to the tips received by such employee. However, the amount of the allowance authorized under this subsection (2) shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the hourly wage required by subsection (1) of this section, and the application of the allowance must result in payment of wages other than tips to such employees of no less than fifty percent (50%) of the hourly wage required by subsection (1) of this section. For the purposes of this subsection (2), "tipped employee" means an employee engaging in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than Thirty Dollars ($30.00) per month in tips. Additionally, the term "tip" means voluntary monetary contributions received by an employee from a guest, patron or customer for services rendered.
SECTION 4. Section 25-3-40, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-3-40. * * * The Mississippi Compensation Plan shall be amended to provide salary increases in such amounts and percentages as might be recommended by the Legislative Budget Office and as may be authorized by funds appropriated by the Legislature for the purpose of granting incentive salary increases as deemed possible dependent upon the availability of general and special funds.
It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Mississippi Legislature to implement a minimum wage as enacted by Mississippi or federal statutory law, whichever wage is greater. It is the intent and purpose of this section to maximize annual salary increases consistent with the availability of funds as might be determined by the Mississippi Legislature at its regular annual session and that all salary increases hereafter be made consistent with the provisions of this section.
SECTION 5. (1) A statewide general election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 2007, on the question of whether the "Mississippi Working Person's Act" should be implemented throughout this state. The referendum shall be held, conducted and the result canvassed in the same manner as all other issues on the ballot during the general election.
(2) At such election, all qualified electors of the state may vote. The ballots used at such election shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the purpose of the election and the words "FOR THE WORKING PERSON'S ACT AS PRESCRIBED BY LAW" and "AGAINST THE WORKING PERSON'S ACT AS PRESCRIBED BY LAW." The voter shall vote by placing a cross (x) or check (√) mark opposite his choice on the proposition. If fifty-one percent (51%) of the qualified electors who vote in such election shall vote in favor of the "Mississippi Working Person's Act," then the act shall be implemented as provided by law. If less than fifty-one percent (51%) of the qualified electors who vote in such election shall vote in favor of the "Mississippi Working Person's Act," then the act shall not be implemented.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from the date that fifty-one percent (51%) of the qualified electors who vote in the November 2007 statewide general election vote "For the Working Person's Act as Prescribed by Law."