Wage and Hour Frequently Asked Questions
Can an employer pay an individual under 20 years of age less than the applicable minimum wage rate?
Section 290.517, RSMo and 8 CSR 30-4.060(6) both require a hearing addressing the specific exception requested before a training wage lower than the applicable minimum wage rate may be paid for learners or apprentices. Accordingly, until such time that a hearing may be held and a regulation issued allowing for a reduced wage, covered nonexempt employees need to be paid the applicable minimum wage rate. You can access the minimum wage law and rules at http://www.moga.mo.gov/STATUTES/C290.HTM and http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/8csr/8c30-4.pdf.
Are breaks or lunch periods required?
There are no state laws regarding breaks or lunch periods. These issues might be addressed by company policy, or could be covered by union contract.
Are benefits such as vacation, sick leave, and health insurance required?
Missouri has no law requiring paid vacations for private sector employment. This is an issue that must be addressed by the employee with his or her employer. The state of Missouri does not have a law that requires private sector employers to offer any type of fringe benefit, such as insurance or sick leave.
If an employee is terminated when are his or her final wages due?
Wages are due at the time of termination. If not paid at that time, the employee should contact his or her former employer by certified mail return receipt requested, requesting wages that are due. The employer has seven days to respond to the written request. If the employer does not respond in seven days, because the state of Missouri does not have authority to collect wages for any individual, any moneys due would have to be collected by private legal action. If the amount due in back wages is less than $5,000, workers may file their claim in small claims court, where costs are less and it is easier to proceed without hiring private legal counsel. Individuals attempting to recover amounts above $5,000 should pursue a private right of action in circuit court. (See Chapter 290.110, RSMo)
If an employee quits his job, when are the final wages due to him?
There are no requirements under Missouri law that address when wages are due when an employee quits a job. If wages are not paid by the next regular pay period, then the wages can be collected by legal action. If the amount due in back wages is less than $5,000, workers may file their claim in small claims court, where costs are less and it is easier to proceed without hiring private legal counsel. Individuals attempting to recover amounts above $5,000 should pursue a private right of action in circuit court.
What does an employee need to do to request a "Letter of Dismissal"?
If you worked for a corporation for more than 90 days and it had seven or more employees, you would be entitled, under § 290.140, RSMo, to a Letter of Dismissal setting out the type of work you performed, how long you worked for the corporation, and truly stating the reason you were discharged. In order to obtain the Letter of Dismissal, you must send a written request for it by certified mail to the superintendent, manager, or registered agent of the corporation, with specific reference to § 290.140. The superintendent or manager of the corporation must then issue a Letter of Dismissal to you within forty-five days after the receipt of the request. If the corporation does not comply with this statue, you may file a private suit in court for damages.
Does an employer have to furnish employees with a statement of deductions?
At least once a month, an employer is required to furnish employees a statement of deductions as part of a check or in a separate document. If an employee does not receive a statement of deductions, private legal action would need to be taken.
Can an employer require its employees to work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours per week?
There are no Missouri laws which restrict the number of hours an employer can require an employee to work. If the employee refuses to work the requested hours, the employer can terminate the employee without violating any laws. Most employers, however, must pay their employees time and one-half for any hours over 40 hours in a workweek. (See Chapter 290.505, RSMo)
Can an employer reduce the wages of its employees?
An employer can reduce an employee′s wages without violating any law. However, an employer subject to the Missouri Minimum Wage Law or the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may not reduce an employee′s wages below the federal minimum or state minimum wage (whichever is higher). Missouri law does require employers to give their employees written notice of a reduction of wages at least 30 days before the reduction is to take effect. (See Chapter 290.100, RSMo). If an employer fails to give the appropriate notice, it is liable to each affected employee in the amount of fifty dollars. If the employer does not voluntarily pay the fifty dollars, the employee may recover it by filing a private lawsuit in court.
Is an employee required to give his/her employer two weeks notice when quitting a job?
No. Missouri follows the "Employment-At-Will" Doctrine, which does not require any notice. State laws provide no requirement for notice from or for employers.
What is the minimum wage?
The state minimum wage increased to $7.35 per hour on January 1, 2013. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The Missouri Minimum Wage and Overtime Law, sections 290.500 to 290.530, RSMo, is enforced by the state. The Division of Labor Standards will investigate complaints of non-compliance of the state minimum wage law.
When will it be determined if the state minimum wage will increase or decrease?
Section 290.502.2, RSMo, provides that the minimum wage shall be increased or decreased each year based on changes in the cost of living. On September 30 of each year, the Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is to determine the increase or decrease in the Consumer Price Index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor (from July of the previous year to July of the current year) and adjust the minimum wage accordingly (rounded to the nearest five cents). The minimum wage as adjusted will become effective on the following January 1. A notice will be posted on the Department′s web site as soon as any change has been determined. Under the statute, Missouri′s minimum wage cannot be reduced below the federal minimum wage.
When does overtime come into effect?
Overtime is based on a 40 hour workweek, not an 8 hour day. Missouri′s Minimum Wage Law and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) require most employers to pay their employees one and one-half times their regular rate of wages for hours over 40 in a workweek (See RSMo Chapter 290.505).