Missouri Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in Missouri


Missouri Labor Laws

Missouri labor laws, including Missouri labor laws 2024, impact the daily lives of employees and employers in Missouri. Residents of Missouri have many questions that affect them every day regarding Missouri labor laws from minimum wage rates, overtime, wage payments, vacation and sick leave, child labor, meal and rest breaks, and more.

In addition to Missouri labor laws, employer must also comply with federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and many other federal laws. And when federal laws are different from state Missouri labor laws, usually companies must comply with the law that provides their workers the best protection.

Below we provide comprehensive information and resources regarding your more pressing Missouri labor law questions to help you answer the question and help you make the right decision about you and your employment.



Minimum Wage

Missouri’s current minimum wage is $10.30.

For more information on the state’s minimum wage laws, visit our Missouri Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

As of 2022, Missouri’s minimum wage is $11.15 per hour. This amount follows Proposition B, a voted law in 2018. Proposition B aims for a $12 per hour minimum wage by 2023.

The law took effect on January 1, 2019, increasing the minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60. Since then, Missouri has made a yearly increase until it reaches the $12 per hour target by 2023.

Also, the federal minimum wage set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may also apply.

Related topics covered on other pages include:


Overtime

Missouri labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of one and one-half time (1½ times) their regular rate of pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt. MO Statute 290.505.

The federal law regarding overtime pay also applies to Missouri employers and employees. See Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Missouri may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Missouri Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

The Prevailing Wage Law of Missouri requires employers to pay workers on public works projects the correct prevailing wage rate for projects more than $75,000. It is determined by the number of hours worked according to each work classification or trade. These projects may include bridges, government buildings, or roads.


Meals and Breaks

Missouri labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to provide a meal period or breaks to employees, thus the federal rule applies. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks.

However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.

The entertainment industry in Missouri requires rest periods and breaks for its youth workers under 16 years of age. A youth worker in the entertainment industry must have a meal break after working for five and a half hours. Also, employers must give them a 15-minute paid rest period every two hours of work.


Nursing Mother Breaks

Missouri labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.

From August 28, 2021, there is a demand for public schools to provide their staff and students with a private space and a reasonable break time to extract breast milk. Unfortunately, there are no other state laws in Missouri supporting breastfeeding employees.

That said, all non-exempt mothers in Missouri are protected by the federal FLSA or Federal Labor Standards Act. Under this mandate, all breastfeeding employees must have a private space and reasonable break to pump breast milk for one year after childbirth.


Vacation Leave

There is no mandate for employers in Missouri to offer vacation leave, with or without pay, to their employees. It’s at the employers’ discretion to provide vacation, paid time off, or personal leave benefits to their employees based on the needs of the workplace and other workers. If such a benefit is promised, the employer may be required to grant eligible employees the vacation time and may create a legal obligation to do so. 

More information about Missouri vacation leave laws may now be found on our Missouri Leave Laws page.


Sick Leave

Private employers have no obligation to provide sick leave benefits to their employees under the Missouri Labor Law, but most offer it as a benefit. Fortunately, employees may qualify for job protection due to illness under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

More information about Missouri sick leave laws may now be found on our Missouri Leave Laws page.


Holiday Leave

There is no law requiring private employers to give their employees paid or unpaid holiday leave in Missouri, but most observe six paid holidays. Additionally, Missouri law does not require employers to:

  • Pay a premium to employees working on holidays.
  • Count holiday unworked hours as “worked” when computing overtime.
  • Pay holiday unworked hours.

Information about Missouri holiday leave laws may now be found on our Missouri Leave Laws page.


Jury Duty Leave

Employees are granted unpaid leave when attending to jury duty. Under the Missouri law, employers cannot ask an employee to take sick, vacation, or other paid leave to respond to the jury summons.

Moreover, they cannot discipline, threaten, or terminate an employee due to jury duties. Discharged or terminated employees can sue their employers for lost wages, attorneys’ fees, and other charges. They can also request reinstatement.

Information about Missouri jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Missouri Leave Laws page.


Voting Leave

Under the law, employees can take a three-hour paid leave to vote. However, they need to inform the company a day before the election. Employers can decide what time they will allow their employees to leave work and vote.

An employer found guilty of violating this law is charged with a class four election offense, punishable by 365 days of jail time, a $2,500 fine, or both.

Information about Missouri voting leave laws may now be found on our Missouri Leave Laws page.


Severance Pay

Missouri labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. If an employer chooses to provide severance, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.

Employers must pay all due wages of the discharged employee at termination. If not paid during dismissal, the employee must send a request via certified mail return receipt. The employer must respond within seven days and pay the due amount.


Unemployment

Under certain circumstances, Missouri residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See Missouri State Unemployment Benefits.

Unemployed individuals may file their claims with the Division of Employment Security of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations for processing. You may qualify for the unemployment benefits if it is not your fault that you lost your job or if you have quit voluntarily.

What’s more, you must have earned a certain amount in a calendar quarter or base period from an insured employer.


Other Missouri Labor Laws Topics and Resources

There are several other Missouri labor laws governing the employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

  • Missouri child labor laws for children 17 years of age and younger including topics including work during school hours and summer hours, school days and non-school days, summer days of employment (usually June 1 to Labor Day), hour restrictions, work permits, and hazardous occupations.
  • The Missouri Human Rights Commission enforces the Missouri Human Rights Act and protects employees workplace civil rights and against discrimination and retaliation. Employees are also protected by federal discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The state and federal discrimination laws offer employees protections and violations based on the following:
Disability (a mental or physical impairment)Sex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
RaceSexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions
ColorGenetic information
  • Missouri labor laws regarding wage payment laws including covering frequency and manner of wage payments, regular paydays, payday, pay periods, deductions, direct deposit and payroll cards, pay statements, record keeping, final paychecks, and notice requirements.
  • Missouri labor laws regarding minimum wage and overtime exemptions covering non-exempt employees and exempt employees.
  • Missouri labor law regarding hours worked including rest breaks, meal breaks, on-call, waiting, travel, sleeping, and meeting times.
  • The Missouri Department of Labor and Industry enforces state laws and regulations regarding workplace safety and health. Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) which covers federal workplace safety and health requirements.
  • Active duty employees, including those in the national guard, and veterans may also be eligible for military leave under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations manages workers’ compensation in Missouri and worker compensation insurance claims and enforcement. Employees who are injured on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that minimizes the financial impact on the employee.
  • Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, employers in Missouri are required to provide 60-day advanced notice to any employees that may be impacted by a business closing or mass layoff if 50 or more employees will be impacted.
  • If Missouri employers provide employees health insurance benefits, they must comply with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) that provides health coverage protections to employees under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
  • Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers must provide applicants and employees prior notice before conducting background checks involving credit reports. Other rules and limitation may also apply.

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