Missouri Wage and Hour Law
Dolley Law has extensive background and expertise in wage and hour matters. We have represented clients in courts across the United States, including in Missouri. We assist employers and employees with minimum wage and overtime claims, recordkeeping requirements, and wage payment liabilities. If you are seeking counsel pertaining to these matters, please contact us for trustworthy legal services.
Missouri Overtime Law
Chapter 290 of the Missouri Revised Statutes outlines the state overtime requirements, which parallel the federal requirements in the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.505(1); 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). Employees should receive payment of at least one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for every additional hour worked over 40 in each workweek. Id.
In many ways, Missouri has modeled its own wage and hour laws after the FLSA. When interpreting Missouri wage and hour laws, FLSA rules provide clarification. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.505(4). For example, Missouri’s overtime requirements include the same exemptions used by the FLSA. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.505(3). These exemptions include employees who are engaged in certain administrative, executive, and professional capacities. 29 U.S.C. § 213(a-b). Additionally, both federal and state law have similar coverage requirements. 29 U.S.C. § 203(s). Mo. Rev. Stat. 290.500(3)(m).
Missouri Minimum Wage Law
Missouri has a higher minimum wage than that required by federal law. See 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1)(C); Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.502(3). The FLSA requires employers to pay non-exempt employees a minimum of $7.25 per hour. 29 U.S.C. § 206(a)(1)(C). As of 2020, employers in Missouri must pay employees at least $9.45 per hour, a rate that will gradually increase in the coming years. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.502(3). The minimum wage will increase by 85 cents on January 1 of every year until 2023, when it will reach $12 per hour. Id.
Tipped employees may receive compensation at an hourly rate below the minimum wage rate. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.512(1); 29 C.F.R. § 516.28 (2019). Employers may reduce an employee’s pay by up to 50% so long as the employee still makes sufficient money so that they still make an hourly rate of at least minimum wage when tips are counted toward weekly compensation. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.512(1). With the minimum wage at $9.45 per hour, tipped employees in Missouri must receive at least $4.73 per hour, not counting tips. Id. In comparison, the FLSA only requires tipped employees to be paid $2.13 per hour. 29 C.F.R. § 516.28 (2019).
Potential Wage and Hour Liabilities
Employer liabilities can be avoided with careful compliance with state and federal laws. Under the FLSA, employers who violate minimum wage and overtime requirements can be held liable for unpaid wages, reasonable attorney’s fees, and liquidated damages. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). Id. Additionally, a good-faith defense to liquidated damages exists for employers who can show objective and subjective good-faith efforts to comply with FLSA guidelines. 29 U.S.C. § 260; Chao v. Barbecue Ventures, LCC, 547 F.3d 938, 941 (8th Cir. 2008).
Missouri law was recently amended to include a longer statute of limitations than the FLSA. In Missouri, employee actions for overtime and minimum wage violations have a statute of limitations of three years. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 290.527. The FLSA has a statute of limitations of two years; however, the statute of limitations under the FLSA may extend to three years if the employer violates the law willfully. 29 U.S.C. § 255(a).
Dolley Law represents clients in many places throughout the United States, including but not limited to St. Louis City and County, Kansas City, Springfield, Jackson County, Butler County, Jefferson County, and Saint Charles County. We work thoroughly to ensure that our clients receive the high-quality wage and hour representation. We specialize in matters pertaining to state and federal regulations, minimum wage and overtime requirements, and wage payment violations. Please feel free to contact our attorneys directly to discuss a wage and hour issue at 314-645-4100 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.