Missouri Labor Laws

Updated: 04/14/2020

Missouri Minimum Wage

The current minimum wage in Missouri is $9.45 per hour. That can be compared to the $7.25 hourly wage required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. When there's a difference between federal and state laws, businesses must pay employees the higher rate.

USA map with Missouri superimposed

Even if an employee's hourly pay rate is $9.45, paycheck deductions can result in violations of the Missouri Minimum Wage Law. An employer can make deductions from an employee's wages for cash register shortages, damage to equipment, repayment of a cash advance or loan, a purchase made at the place of business or for similar reasons. However, those deductions can't cause the employee's hourly rate to dip below the required minimum.

Some employees may need to be paid more than the state minimum wage rate. Reason: Under the Missouri Prevailing Wage Law, employees assigned to public works construction projects must be paid a set rate based on county and type of work performed.

HB 1729, which took effect in 2018, brought changes to the Missouri prevailing wage system. The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards, releases a final Annual Wage Order by July 1 of each year.

For example, Annual Wage Order 26 was final and in effect as of June 26, 2019. That was preceded by Annual Wage Order 25, which was final and in effect as of April 25, 2018. The Annual Wage Order lists the prevailing wage rates according to county and occupational category.

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History of Missouri Labor Laws

Looking back from the current rate of $9.45 per hour, employers have seen the rate increase, although sometimes at a slow pace. The minimum wage was $8.60 per hour in 2019, $7.85 per hour in 2018, $7.70 per hour in 2017 and $7.65 per hour in 2016.

The hourly wage will continue to increase as follows:

  • $10.30, effective Jan. 1, 2021
  • $11.15, effective Jan. 1, 2022
  • $12.00, effective Jan. 1, 2023

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, the minimum wage rate will be indexed annually for inflation.

Municipality Minimum Wage Laws

On Aug. 28, 2017, the state passed HB 1194, which says municipalities can't raise their minimum wage rates higher than the state's minimum rate. With that preemption law in place, two cities in Missouri – St. Louis and Kansas City – had to halt their plans to increase the minimum wage.

In St. Louis, employers had been on a roller coaster ride, starting in 2015 when the city passed an ordinance to raise the minimum wage there to $11 per hour by 2018. The St. Louis ordinance met with legal battles, although eventually the state's highest court gave the green light to the city. Employers began paying a minimum hourly wage of $10 to employees, but that was short-lived. Once HB 1194 passed, St. Louis could no longer require employers to pay more than the state minimum wage, which was $7.70 at that time.

As for Kansas City, a plan to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour – and within a few years of that to $15 per hour – was in the works. Voters approved a ballot measure on Aug. 8, 2017, but when HB 1194 passed just days after that, the municipality was locked into the statewide minimum rate.

Missouri Minimum Wage Exemptions

Retail or service businesses with annual gross incomes of less than $500,000 don't need to pay the state minimum wage rate.

Furthermore, the Minimum Wage Law doesn't apply to public employers.

Missouri Posting Requirements

Required Posters:

  • Minimum Wage
  • Child Labor
  • Fair Employment
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers' Compensation

Tipped Wage in Missouri

Tipped employees must be paid at least half of the state minimum wage. At the current hourly minimum wage rate of $9.45, the tipped employee rate is $4.725.

When the tipped employee minimum wage and tips are added together, if they don't equal $9.45 per hour, businesses must make up the difference.

Overtime Wage in Missouri

As with federal law, Missouri law sets up an overtime rate of at least one-and-a-half times the employee's regular rate of pay. That kicks in once the employee has worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. There's no requirement to pay overtime on a daily basis under state wage-and-hour laws.

Amusement or recreation businesses that meet certain criteria don't have to pay overtime until their employees work over 52 hours in a workweek.

Sometimes employees say they'll waive their rights to overtime pay, but neither federal nor state law allows employers to take them up on that offer – and of course, businesses can't make such a request of workers.

Certain employees, however, who are exempt from overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, are likewise exempt under Missouri law. That includes workers holding bona fide executive, administrative or professional positions, as well as workers who hold outside sales positions.

In addition to wage-and-hour laws, businesses should consider the requirements of the state's Prevailing Wage Law.

HB 1729 brought changes to prevailing wages in 2018. Now employers involved in public works construction projects need to pay overtime if an employee's hours exceed 10 hours in a day and/or 40 hours in a workweek.

Child Labor Laws in Missouri

Missouri's Child Labor Law restricts the employment of workers who are 14 or 15 years old.

These employees can't work more than:

  • three hours per day on any school day
  • eight hours on any non-school day
  • six days or 40 hours in any week

As for times of day that minors can work, the law says that the workday can't:

  • begin before 7 a.m
  • end after 7 p.m. (that's extended to 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day)

Here's one exception to the rules regarding times of day: A 14- or 15-year-old child may be employed at a regional fair from June 1 to Labor Day, with the workday ending by 10:30 p.m. The child must be supervised by an adult, and parents must give consent.

Employer Recordkeeping Requirements

In Missouri, employers must keep certain records for a period of at least three years, and the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards, has the right to inspect those records.

Here's what you must have on file for each employee:

  • Name, address and job description
  • Rate of pay
  • Amount paid each pay period
  • Number of hours worked each day and each workweek

Recent Missouri Labor Law Changes

Minimum Wage - December 2019

The Missouri Minimum Wage poster was updated to reflect an increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage will increase from $8.60 per hour to $9.45 per hour effective January 1, 2020. The minimum wage employers must pay tipped employees will also increase from $4.30 an hour to $4.725 per hour.

Workers' Compensation - August 2019

The Missouri Workers' Compensation poster was updated to clarify that employees must provide written notice within 30 days of an accident or within 30 days after the diagnosis of any occupational disease or repetitive trauma.

Minimum Wage - November 2018

The Missouri Minimum Wage poster was updated to reflect an increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage will increase from $7.85 per hour to $8.60 per hour effective January 1, 2019. The minimum wage employers must pay tipped employees will also increase from $3.925 an hour to $4.30 per hour.

Missouri Labor Law Questions & Answers

Missouri Combined Federal and State Kit plus Update Service

Have all of your state and federal required posters updated whenever the laws change.