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A Comprehensive Guide to Missouri Wage and Hour Laws


Wage and Hour Laws Specialists

Missouri’s wage and hour laws are designed to protect workers from exploitation. Learn your rights in this comprehensive overview.

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Missouri Wage and Hour Basics

If you have recently moved to the state or are new to the workforce, you may question the Missouri wage and hour laws. The Missouri Department of Labor provides helpful guidance dictating Missouri’s minimum wage and overtime laws to protect workers, which benefits individuals, families, and society.

The minimum wage law sets the standard for ensuring that employees are paid a living wage as compensation for their efforts. Most employers adhere to the minimum wage laws to maintain continuity in the workforce since their workers will be content to remain employed. When an employer fails to maintain minimum standards in the work environment, they have difficulty retaining sufficient staff to run the business.

Under the Missouri wage and hour law, there is no minimum or maximum number of hours an employee may work. However, employees must be paid overtime wages for any hours worked beyond the normal workweek of 40 hours.

As trusted employment and workers’ comp lawyers in Missouri, Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien offers legal guidance for any legal claims or concerns about work hours, wages, or other employee rights. Our talented lawyers can help you enforce your rights and protect your rights in the workplace.

Missouri Wage and Hour section

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What Are the Payment Laws in Missouri?

MO wage and hour laws and Missouri labor laws were created to ensure worker safety and reasonable compensation for their efforts. Unless you fall into one of the few employment categories exempt from this, Missouri employers are required by law to pay employees the standard state minimum wage rate of $11.15.

According to the Department of Labor, retail or service businesses with annual gross incomes less than $500,000 are exempt from this requirement, as are positions that count tips and gratuities as part of the wages. Generally, employers can use other employment costs like gratuities to reduce the hourly federal minimum wage they pay to $5.575.

In addition to equal pay, minimum wages, Missouri prevailing wage law, overtime, and the tipped employee rate, Chapter 290 of the Missouri Revised Statutes address:

  • Jury duty
  • Mandatory meal period
  • Medical leave
  • Military family leave
  • Paid holidays
  • Unpaid leave
  • Vacation time
Missouri Wage and Hour Laws

In addition to tips, employers can use other forms of compensation like meals and lodging to decrease the minimum hourly wage they pay.


MO Prevailing Wage Laws

Federal laws outline how employers can pay their workers less than the prevailing minimum wage rates.

According to Missouri’s Prevailing Wage Law, the established minimum wage for jobs on public works projects like bridges, government buildings, and roads differs by type of work and the county involved. These rates are factored into the public works contracts. Revised Statutes of MO § 290.230.5 limits the applicability of the Prevailing Wage Law in projects valued over $75,000.

After a public hearing and upon the director of the Division of Labor Standards’ approval, apprentices and workers with mental or physical deficiencies that affect their ability to perform their job may receive compensation at a lower rate than the state minimum wage.

Employers must abide by employment laws and maintain records to demonstrate compliance with the Division of Labor Standards. Employees can file a wage claim with the division when an employer does not comply with the MO wage and hour laws.

If you’re confused about the laws or believe your employer has not paid you the wages you are due, contacting a reliable employment attorney can help. At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, our lawyers have extensive experience in fighting for the rights of employees.

Ensuring Missouri Overtime Pay

In addition to the standard minimum wage that Missouri laws require employers to pay, overtime compensation is expected for hours worked over the regular 40-hour week. In MO, employers have to pay one-half of the employee’s regular hourly wage for work exceeding forty hours in one week. This is the same as the laws for mandated federal overtime state.

Salaried jobs and those that pay on commission often are exempt from overtime pay requirements. These jobs include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Administrative
  • Agricultural
  • Executive
  • Motor carrier
  • Outsides sales
  • Professional

If you have questions regarding the state or federal law regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act or prevailing wages for your job, contact a local attorney with experience in employment matters.

Confused about Wage and Hour Laws in MO? We are here to answer your questions.

How to File a Complaint With Wage and Hour

If you dispute employment matters like insufficient paid time off or uncompensated overtime hours, you should know how to file a complaint with the wage and hour division.

In addition to paying minimum wages and overtime, employers are required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Missouri law to provide employees with the right to bring an action to recover any unpaid wages. 

In addition to unpaid wages, Missouri wage and hour law and FLSA enables workers to pursue the following:

  • Attorneys’ fees 

  • Court costs

  • Financial damages

To file a wage and hours claim against an employer in Missouri, complete and submit forms for filing a minimum wage claim and an unpaid wages claim within two years from the date of the complaint. Contact a reputable law firm experienced with labor issues to file a lawsuit immediately.

What Are the Rules on Final Paychecks Under Missouri Law?

If your employment has been terminated or you have submitted your resignation, you likely wonder what the rules for final paychecks in Missouri are. Although Missouri doesn’t have specific regulations for paying after an employee voluntarily leaves the company, the rules for termination require employers to provide the worker with their final pay upon termination. 

Unless the employee owes money to the company, the final payment should include the following:

  • Accrued sick leave

  • Accrued vacation pay

  • Bonuses

  • Commissions

  • Regular pay

Generally, the payment is made in whatever form previous payments were made, such as direct deposit, check or pay card, in-person, or mail. If you didn’t receive your final pay, contact the business’s financial department and a local law office to recover unpaid wages.


What Are My Rights as an Employee in Missouri?

As an employee in Missouri, you are entitled to certain rights. Under Missouri law, employers must protect their employees’ health, safety, and welfare. This includes providing timely payment for hours worked and adhering to state and federal wage laws.

You also have rights regarding workplace discrimination and retaliation. If you feel that you’ve been treated differently or unfairly because of your race, gender, disability, age, or religion, you may have a claim of workplace discrimination. Additionally, if you’ve been punished or retaliated against for filing a wage and hour claim, contacting an experienced attorney is essential.

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, we specialize in helping Missouri workers protect their rights under the law and provide experienced advocacy when employers are not upholding their end of the bargain.

No matter your issue, you have rights under Missouri law, and it’s important to understand them. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case. We are here to help you understand and protect your rights.

FAQs About Missouri Wage and Hour

FAQs about Missouri wage and hour laws are provided to help you better understand your rights. Although they are similar, there are a few differences between Missouri’s wage and hour law and the FLSA. For example, Proposition B’s amendment increased MO minimum wage above the national requirements and provided a yearly increase of $0.85 through 2023.

Section 290.527 of Proposition B also was amended to require employers found violating MO wage and hour laws to compensate their employees for “the full amount of the wage rate and an additional amount equal to twice the unpaid wages as liquidated damages, less any amount paid to the employee by the employer and for costs and such reasonable attorney fees as may be allowed by the court or jury.”

Retain Legal Help for Missouri Wage and Hour Disputes

If you have a dispute over MO wage and hour laws, you should immediately retain the services of a reputable law office. With a two-year statute of limitations, in-person complaints of insufficient overtime pay or other labor law violations can easily surpass the time allocated for bringing a legitimate complaint.

Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien has a successful history of wage and hour lawsuits. With the necessary knowledge and experience to understand your predicament, they will protect your interests and rights under MO law.

Our attorneys also have extensive experience protecting the rights of injured Missouri employees under Missouri law and U.S. federal law. If you need a trustworthy Missouri workers’ compensation attorney, we encourage you to contact us today.

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