Missouri

Labor Compliance Guide

Hours & Pay Regulations

Normal Working Hours

The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours comprised of seven consecutive 24-hour periods that do not need to coincide with the calendar week. It is adjustable only if the change is designed to be permanent. Each week is considered on its own for purposes of calculating overtime. The hours of two or more weeks may not be averaged.
Under state law, an employer is prohibited from denying a person employment or advancement in employment for refusing to work on his or her normal day of worship.

 

Time for Travel

Generally, time spent commuting from home to the workplace is not work time. But time spent traveling during normal work hours as part of the job is considered work time and employees are entitled to be paid for this travel time. Such travel time will be taken into account as work time in determining whether employees have been paid the minimum wage.

Overtime

Employers must pay at least 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay once overtime pay is in effect. Overtime pay begins once an employee works more than 40 hours in a work week rather than more than 8 hours in a work day. State and federal law does not allow employees to voluntarily waive their rights to overtime pay and accept straight time instead.

Breaks

Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees a break of any kind, including a lunch hour. These provisions are either left up to the discretion of the employer, can be agreed upon by the employer and employee, or may be addressed by company policy or contract.

 

Working Minors

Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees, including youth workers, a break of any kind, including a lunch hour. These provisions are either left up to the discretion of the employer, can be agreed upon by the employer and employee, or may be addressed by company policy or contract.

 

The entertainment industry, however, does require breaks and rest periods for youth workers. A youth cannot work more than 5.5 hours without a meal break. Additionally, a 15 minute rest period (which counts as work time) is required after every 2 hours of continuous work for youth in the entertainment industry.

Annual Leave

Employers are not required to provide annual leave or annual leave pay. These are benefits given at an employer’s discretion. The exception would be instances where an employer has entered into a contract where certain benefits are established by agreement.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2018, Missouri’s hourly minimum wage is $7.85, and the state’s minimum hourly cash wage for tipped employees is $3.93. All businesses must pay at least the state’s hourly mini- mum wage rate, except retail and service businesses whose annual gross sales are less than $500,000. Such businesses are not required to pay the state minimum wage. The minimum wage rate is adjusted annually for inflation based on the consumer price index. If the federal minimum wage is higher than the state minimum wage, Missouri’s minimum wage will increase to match.

 

With the department’s approval, wages lower than the minimum may be paid to learners and apprentices or to workers whose earning capacity is impaired by physical or mental disability and who are unable to work at the levels required of employees receiving the minimum wage.

Tips & Gratuities

Employers must pay tipped employees half of the minimum wage rate or the amount necessary to ensure the employee’s total compensation is at least $7.85 an hour.

Meal Breaks

Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees a break of any kind, including a lunch hour. These provisions are either left up to the discretion of the employer, can be agreed upon by the employer and employee, or may be addressed by company policy or contract.

 

Working Minors

Missouri law does not require employers to provide employees, including youth workers, a break of any kind, including a lunch hour. These provisions are either left up to the discretion of the employer, can be agreed upon by the employer and employee, or may be addressed by company policy or contract.

 

The entertainment industry, however, does require breaks and rest periods for youth workers. A youth cannot work more than five and one-half hours without a meal break.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Pregnancy Disability Leave

Employers must treat employees disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions the same as any other employees with short-term disabilities for purposes of sick leave.

Voting Leave

Employers must allow employees sufficient time off to vote. Employers can’t retaliate against employees because they engage in certain political activities.

Jury Duty Leave

An employer shall not terminate, discipline, threaten or take adverse actions against an employee on account of that employee’s receipt of or response to a jury summons. An employee discharged in violation of this section may bring a civil action against his or her employer within ninety days of discharge for recovery of lost wages and other damages caused by the violation and for an order directing reinstatement of the employee. If the employee prevails, the employee shall be entitled to receive a reasonable attorney’s fee. An employee may not be required or requested to use annual, vacation, personal, or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury duty, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or time spent actually serving on a jury. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to require an employer to provide annual, vacation, personal, or sick leave to employees under the provisions of this statute who otherwise are not entitled to such benefits under company policies. A court shall automatically postpone and reschedule the service of a summoned juror of an employer with five or fewer full-time employees, or their equivalent if another employee of that employer has been previously summoned to appear during the same period.

Military Leave

Employers must allow eligible employees to take military leave. Eligible employees are entitled to re-employment rights upon being relieved from active state duty or active duty. Employees are eligible for military leave if they are:

    • Members of the Missouri National Guard or other Missouri military forces and are ordered to active state duty by the governor; or
    • Missouri employees who are members of another state’s National Guard and are called to active state duty by that state’s governor; or
    • Members of any reserve component of the U.S. armed forces and are called to active duty.

Last updated on: September 20th, 2018