Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
September 20. 2021.
The Basics of Missouri Labor Laws
It is essential to know when your employer takes advantage of your legal rights or if you have been deprived of your legally owed compensation. Employer-employee relationships can be complicated; however, you should always know the wage and hour rates, labor standards, benefits regarding your job, and other rights. Here’s what you need to know if your rights have been violated.
#1. Missouri Minimum Wage and Hour Laws
Missouri’s minimum wage is currently $10.30 per hour, with employers seeing a consistent rate increase in the last few years. This rate is set to increase to $11.15 per hour in 2022 and $12 per hour in 2023.
The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act establishes a mandatory minimum wage of $7.25 for all U.S. states. Be aware that if a difference occurs between the state and federal law, the employers must pay the higher rate, regardless of the federal minimum wage.
Some employees are entitled to an even higher minimum wage than the standard state minimum wage. Missouri’s Prevailing Wage Law states that public construction workers must be paid a predetermined wage that is typically significantly higher than the state minimum wage rate. An updated list of these rates is available here.
#2. Missouri Child Labor Laws
The Child Labor Law in Missouri allows for a minor of 14 or 15 of age to work three hours per day on a school day, eight hours on any non-school day, or up to 40 hours in a workweek. The child has to be supervised by an adult, and a parent must give consent. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has the jurisdiction to inspect such matters at any time.
Missouri’s Child Labor Law applies to children under the age of 16. There are no restrictions for children of 16 and 17 years of age.
#3. Overtime Hours
Missouri Labor laws oblige employers to pay at least one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular pay rate when the employee has worked for more than 40 hours in a workweek. Some employees are exempt from overtime hours, such as those working in administrative, agricultural, or professional activities.
#4. Workers’ Compensation
Missouri workers’ compensation laws were updated to specify that employees have to provide written notice within 30 days of an accident or a diagnosis of any repetitive trauma stemming from their work duties. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will then pay for the financial damages sustained by the employee as a result of the injury or accident.
#5. Breaks and Meals
In Missouri, no labor law requires employers to provide break time to their employees. With that, the federal law applies. If an employer decides to offer a break or mealtime lasting less than 20 minutes, the employer must pay for this time.
#6. Time Off
Many employers pay employees for sick days, vacation time, or holidays, but they remain at the employer’s discretion. However, the Missouri law provides unpaid leave for:
- Military leave;
- Jury duty;
- Time off to vote, or
- Medical leave.
#7. Missouri Minimum Wage Exemptions
Service or retail companies and businesses with an annual gross income of less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate. Moreover, Missouri’s minimum wage laws do not apply to public employers.
If you believe that your legal rights have been violated, contact our law firm at 816-205-4135 for a consultation, and let us fight for your rights! We can also inform you about your unemployment benefits until you get a new job if you wish.
Mandatory Display of State of Missouri Labor Laws
With labor laws changing constantly, it is necessary and at times mandatory for employers to display posters about changes in the laws. All Missouri businesses with at least one employee must display notices advising their rights at a workplace. The mandatory federal and state labor laws posters could appear in lunch or break rooms.
What Labor Laws Posters Are Required in Missouri?
The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations asks employers to display the following labor laws posters:
- Workers’ compensation law;
- Discrimination in employment;
- Minimum wage law;
- Discrimination in housing and public accommodations;
- Child labor laws for children under the age of 16.
All posters are mandatory and meet an employer’s legal obligation.
What Are the Labor Laws in Missouri?
The labor laws in Missouri help and mediate the relationship between workers, employers, trade unions, and the government. They will establish the rights and responsibilities of employees in a safe environment. Labor laws deal with minimum wage, a living wage, health and safety, discrimination, or dismissal.
If you feel like your rights have been violated, you may consider filing a violation complaint. You can fill out your complaint via email or in person at the Department of Labor in Missouri.
New Missouri Labor Laws
As employers had to deal with COVID-19 regulations, 2021 has brought several changes in the Missouri labor laws. Additionally, criminal background checks have come to the attention of employers since January 2021.
Namely, the new Missouri labor laws prohibit employers from making a hiring or promotion decision based on the applicant’s criminal history unless the employer demonstrates it is relevant for the employment-related decision.
Upon a free consultation, a Missouri attorney will help you determine if your rights have been violated and will take action in achieving justice for your case. Contact us at 816-205-4135 for a free consultation today, or browse our website and explore our services for more information!