Employee Handbook Does Not Create Employee Contract

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protect employees against gender and age discrimination. In order to bring a wrongful termination action against an employer, employees are required to exhaust their administrative remedies. Regina Thomas and Pam Pilgram failed to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when they were terminated for allegedly stealing from their employer Southern Farm Bureau. Instead, Thomas and Pilgram sued the company in Mississippi state court although Mississippi is a right-to-work state. The pair claimed Southern Farm Bureau’s employee handbook created a contract that the company breached. The handbook, however, expressly stated that it was not a “contract of employment.” The Supreme Court of Mississippi dismissed all claims against Southern Farm Bureau. To learn more about where Thomas and Pilgram’s case went wrong, keep reading.