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MSSHRM 2014 Legislative Session Bulletin

    February 10, 2014


    by: Rusty Turner

    There are four bills now pending in the Mississippi Senate which could affect Mississippi employers.  All four bills have been approved by the assigned Committee and are set to be voted on no later than Thursday February 13.  If the four bills are approved by the Mississippi Senate, then they will be transferred to the Mississippi House for further processing.  If they are not voted on or approved by the close of business on February 13, then they will be dead for this year. 

    If you believe that any of these four bills are important for your business, then you are urged to contact your local Senator’s Office or the Senate sponsor of these four bills, Senator Terry Brown.  Alternatively, you can contact Mississippi SHRM’s Governmental Affairs Director, Rusty Turner ( who can communicate with Senator Brown’s Office on your behalf.·              

    Prohibition Against Union Coercion (Senate Bill 2473)

    Senate Bill 2473 prohibits any union from in any way threatening a Mississippi employer with damage or harm in response to the employer’s refusal to sign a neutrality agreement in which the employer promises to take no position in opposition to the union’s organizing activities.  If any union takes such coercive action, it can be liable for civil damages of three times the actual damages caused by such threats.   

    Prohibition Against Mass Picketing (Senate Bill 2653)

    Senate Bill 2653 prohibits any union from engaging in any “mass picketing” activities which have the effect of obstructing or interfering with an employer’s entrances or other areas near or contiguous to the employer’s customers.  An employer will be entitled to obtain an injunction against such activities without the necessity of showing “irreparable harm,” an element which is usually required to obtain injunctive relief under Mississippi law.  If convicted of violating this law, the responsible persons can be fined $500 and imprisoned for six months.

    State and Municipal Contracts May Not Condition Awards on Union Neutrality (Senate Bill 2797)

    Senate Bill 2797 would make it illegal for any municipality or state agency to issue bids or specifications that require the prospective bidder to agree to be neutral towards any union or which requires any bidder to agree to become affiliated with a union.  Senate Bill 2797 would also prohibit such municipalities or agencies from requiring prospective bidders to pay its employees any predetermined or prevailing wage rates unless such municipality or agency is required to do so by federal law by virtue of that agency having received federal grant funding for a project.  This Bill must be approved by a 60% vote rather than standard 50% majority.

    Prohibition on Local Government Restriction on Private Employer Background Checks (Senate Bill 2689)

    Senate Bill 2689 would make it illegal for any local government to adopt any ordinance or rule that in any way interferes with an employer’s ability to perform background checks of potential employees and/or applicants for employment.  This law would make it easier for employers and/or the background check agents it retains to gather local civil and/or criminal records of residents by expressly commanding that the City/County Clerks and/or others under them provide such records to prospective employers upon request.