BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, PRATHER and ANDERSON
ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
Bobby Sloan has appealed from a judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Lee County, Mississippi, in favor of Taylor Machinery Company, on a motion for summary judgment.
The sole question presented is whether or not the lower court erred in granting the summary judgment on the ground that the one-year statute of limitations, Mississippi Code Annotated 15-1-29 (1972), as amended, bars a suit by an employee for breach of an employment contract.
Appellant was employed by the defendant in March, 1978, at its plant in Lee County, Mississippi. An affidavit in opposition to the motion for summary judgment executed by appellant states that on or about July 31, 1978, he was given an employee handbook at a company dinner. The complaint charges that appellant and appellee had a written agreement concerning employee/employer relations and that the employee handbook was the basis of the written agreement. Appellant charges in the complaint that he was terminated from his job in June, 1982, without any cause, in direct violation of the employee/employer contract.
The affidavit of appellant pertaining to the hiring and firing of appellant follows:
I was employed by Taylor Machinery Company in Tupelo, Mississippi. During the course of my regular employment, I was provided with an employee handbook by my employer, who is the Defendant in this lawsuit. A true copy of the employee handbook which I was provided is attached as Exhibit "A" to this my affidavit. I was given this handbook at company dinner and I continued to work with the Defendant after I received my employee handbook. I was given this handbook on or about July 31, 1978.
I was fired from my job at Taylor Machinery Company without cause and without any justification. I was properly doing my job with the Defendant at the time that I was fired and I was doing a good job.
My employer, who is the Defendant, fired me without a hearing and without first determining what the true facts were. My employer terminated me without any opportunity to discuss or review the termination before the termination became final. I was further terminated in a menner [sic] which lacked fairness, respect, or reason.
The affidavit does not state that a written agreement was made at the time of appellant's employment in March, 1978, and there is nothing to show a genuine issue of material fact as to whether or not a written contract was
actually entered into at the time of the employment. We are of the opinion that the presentation of an employee handbook to appellant in July, 1978, after his employment in March, 1978, did not make the employment agreement a written contract.
Appellee relies upon Mississippi Code Annotated
15-1-29 (1972), as amended, which bars an action of employment on an oral employment contract, if not commenced within one (1) year next after the action accrued. That section follows:
Except as otherwise provided in the Uniform Commercial Code, actions on an open account or account stated not acknowledged in writing, signed by the debtor, and on any unwritten contract, express or implied, shall be commenced within three (3) years next after the cause of such action accrued, and not after, except that an action based on an unwritten contract of employment shall be commenced within one (1) year next after the cause of such action accrued, and not after.
Appellant asserts that the employee handbook is the written contract. He is not named in the ...