MISSISSIPPI CODE
TITLE 71. LABOR AND INDUSTRY
CHAPTER 3. WORKERS' COMPENSATION GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 71-3-5. Employers subject to statute

The following shall constitute employers subject to the provisions of this chapter:

Every person, firm and private corporation, including any public service corporation but excluding, however, all nonprofit charitable, fraternal, cultural, or religious corporations or associations, that have in service five (5) or more workmen or operatives regularly in the same business or in or about the same establishment under any contract of hire, express or implied.

Any state agency, state institution, state department, or subdivision thereof, including counties, municipalities and school districts, or the singular thereof, not heretofore included under the Workers' Compensation Law, may elect, by proper action of its officers or department head, to come within its provisions and, in such case, shall notify the commission of such action by filing notice of compensation insurance with the commission. Payment for compensation insurance policies so taken may be made from any appropriation or funds available to such agency, department or subdivision thereof, or from the general fund of any county or municipality.

From and after July 1, 1990, all offices, departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions, boards, institutions, hospitals, colleges, universities, airport authorities or other instrumentalities of the "state" as such term is defined in Section 11-46-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall come under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law. Payment for compensation insurance policies so taken may be made from any appropriation or funds available to such office, department, agency, bureau, commission, board, institution, hospital, college, university, airport authority or other instrumentality of the state.

From and after October 1, 1990, counties and municipalities shall come under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law. Payment for compensation insurance policies so taken may be made from any funds available to such counties and municipalities.

From and after October 1, 1993, all "political subdivisions," as such term is defined in Section 11-46-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, except counties and municipalities shall come under the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law. Payment for compensation insurance policies so taken may be made from any funds available to such political subdivisions.

From and after July 1, 1988, the "state" as such term is defined in Section 11-46-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, may elect to become a self-insurer under the provisions elsewhere set out by law, by notifying the commission of its intent to become a self-insurer. The cost of being such a self-insurer, as provided otherwise by law, may be paid from funds available to the offices, departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions, boards, institutions, hospitals, colleges, universities, airport authorities or other instrumentalities of the state.

The Mississippi Transportation Commission, the Department of Public Safety and the Mississippi Industries for the Blind may elect to become self-insurers under the provisions elsewhere set out by law by notifying the commission of their intention of becoming such a self-insurer. The cost of being such a self-insurer, as provided elsewhere by law, may be paid from funds available to the Mississippi Transportation Commission, the Department of Public Safety or the Mississippi Industries for the Blind.

The Mississippi State Senate and the Mississippi House of Representatives may elect to become self-insurers under provisions elsewhere set out by law by notifying the commission of their intention of becoming such self-insurers. The cost of being such self-insurers, as provided elsewhere by law, may be paid from funds available to the Mississippi State Senate and the Mississippi House of Representatives. The Mississippi State Senate and the Mississippi House of Representatives are authorized and empowered to provide workers' compensation benefits for employees after January 1, 1970.

Any municipality of the State of Mississippi having forty thousand (40,000) population or more desiring to do so may elect to become a self-insurer under provisions elsewhere set out by law by notifying the commission of its intention of becoming such an insurer. The cost of being such a self-insurer, as provided elsewhere by law, may be provided from any funds available to such municipality.

The commission may, under such rules and regulations as it prescribes, permit two (2) or more "political subdivisions," as such term is defined in Section 11-46-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, to pool their liabilities to participate in a group workers compensation self-insurance program. The governing authorities of any political subdivision may authorize the organization and operation of, or the participation in such a group self-insurance program with other political subdivisions, provided such program is approved by the commission. The cost of participating in a group self-insurance program may be provided from any funds available to a political subdivision.

*20874 Domestic servants, farmers and farm labor are not included under the provisions of this chapter, but this exemption does not apply to the processing of agricultural products when carried on commercially. Any purchaser of timber products shall not be liable for workers' compensation for any person who harvests and delivers timber to such purchaser if such purchaser is not liable for unemployment tax on the person harvesting and delivering the timber as provided by United States Code Annotated, Title 26, Section 3306, as amended. Provided, however, nothing in this section shall be construed to exempt an employer who would otherwise be covered under Section 71-3-5 from providing workers' compensation coverage on those employees for whom he is liable for unemployment tax.

Employers exempted by this section may assume, with respect to any employee or classification of employees, the liability for compensation imposed upon employers by this chapter with respect to employees within the coverage of this chapter. The purchase and acceptance by such employer of valid workers' compensation insurance applicable to such employee or classification of employees shall constitute, as to such employer, an assumption by him of such liability under this chapter without any further act on his part notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, but only with respect to such employee or such classification of employees as are within the coverage of the state fund. Such assumption of liability shall take effect and continue from the effective date of such workers' compensation insurance and as long only as such coverage shall remain in force, in which case the employer shall be subject with respect to such employee or classification of employees to no other liability than the compensation as provided for in this chapter.

This chapter shall not apply to transportation and maritime employments for which a rule of liability is provided by the laws of the United States.

This chapter shall not be applicable to a mere direct buyer-seller or vendor-vendee relationship where there is no employer-employee relationship as defined by Section 71-3-3, and any insurance carrier is hereby prohibited from charging a premium for any person who is a seller or vendor rather than an employee.

Any employer may elect, by proper and written action of its own governing authority, to be exempt from the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Law as to its sole proprietor, its partner in a partnership or to its employee who is the owner of fifteen percent (15%) or more of its stock in a corporation, if such sole proprietor, partner or employee also voluntarily agrees thereto in writing. Any sole proprietor, partner or employee owning fifteen percent (15%) or more of the stock of his/her corporate employer who becomes exempt from coverage under the Workers' Compensation Law shall be excluded from the total number of workers or operatives toward reaching the mandatory coverage threshold level of five (5).

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