Missouri Labor Laws

Missouri Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

It’s essential for employers and employees working in the state of Missouri to have a solid understanding of Missouri labor laws.

  • Are you unsure about Missouri’s minimum wage laws and how they affect your paycheck?
  • Do you know your rights regarding work time and overtime pay?
  • Wondering how the Division of Labor Standards impacts your employment?
  • Are you in the entertainment industry and need clarity on insurance benefits?
  • Are you approaching labor day and wondering about your entitlements as an employee?

When it comes to learning about Missouri employment laws, we hope to bring some clarity to the complexities of state regulations.

Beyond this article, we encourage you to visit various labor legislation resources for further interpretation of the laws.

This article is for:

  • For Missouri residents seeking comprehensive understanding of their rights and obligations under state employment laws.
  • Individuals in the entertainment industry needing specific guidance on insurance benefits and wage rates.
  • Employers and employees alike looking to navigate the nuances of hourly wage, work time, and division of labor standards.
  • Young workers curious about their rights as they enter the workforce.

We understand the confusion and uncertainty that can accompany navigating employment laws.

Whether you’re an experienced professional or new to the workforce, our goal is to provide clear, accessible information that empowers you to make informed decisions about your work life in the state of Missouri.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Missouri labor laws.

Missouri Wage Laws

Missouri Minimum Wage

The current Missouri minimum wage is $12.30 per hour. This rate is higher than the federal minimum wage and applies to most employees.

Tipped Employees

Missouri has a lower minimum wage for tipped employees, set at $6.15 per hour. Employers must ensure that the combination of tips and wages brings a tipped worker to at least the state minimum wage level. If not, the employer must make up the difference.

Missouri Payment Laws

Missouri law mandates that employees be paid at least semimonthly (twice a month).

Employers cannot withhold an employee’s wages without a lawful reason such as taxes or court-ordered garnishments.

Employees who leave a job (voluntarily or involuntarily) must receive their final paycheck no later than the next regularly scheduled payday.

Missouri Overtime Laws

Missouri overtime laws mirror the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Covered employees who work more than 40 hours in a single workweek are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half (1.5) times their regular rate of pay.

Certain exemptions exist, such as for executive, administrative, and professional employees.

Missouri Break Laws

Missouri does not have specific laws mandating meal breaks or rest periods.

Consequently, federal regulations apply. Employers are not generally required to provide breaks, but if they choose to, breaks shorter than 20 minutes are usually considered paid time.

Meal periods of 30 minutes or longer are typically unpaid unless required by the nature of the work.

Missouri Leave Requirements

Missouri has various laws regarding employee leaves of absence, including:

Sick Leave

Missouri has no statewide sick leave mandates for private employers. Some cities within Missouri have ordinances requiring employers to offer sick leave.

Family and Medical Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to eligible employees in Missouri, entitling them to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for qualifying reasons like childbirth, caring for a seriously ill family member, or managing a personal serious health condition.

Military Leave

Missouri protects the rights of employees who serve in the military. Employees are entitled to unpaid time off for military duty and must generally be reinstated into their former positions or comparable ones upon their return.

Jury Duty Leave

Missouri employees are protected from termination or discipline due to jury duty service. Employers cannot require an employee to use vacation time for jury duty.

Child Labor Laws In Missouri

Missouri child labor laws protect minors in the workforce by setting restrictions on:


Minors under 14 cannot generally work. 14 and 15-year-olds can work in certain permitted occupations with restrictions on work hours.

Hours of Work

Minors have limits on the number of hours they can work per day and week, as well as restrictions on working during school hours.

Dangerous Occupations

Missouri prohibits minors from working in occupations deemed hazardous.

Missouri Hiring Laws

Missouri is an at-will employment state, giving employers latitude in hiring decisions.

However, Missouri and federal laws prohibit discrimination based on protected characteristics such as race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 and over), disability, or genetic information. Employers must also comply with federal and state background check regulations.

Missouri Termination Laws

As an at-will employment state, Missouri allows employers and employees to terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause, and without advance notice (provided that the reason is not illegal or discriminatory).

There are limited exceptions to this, such as employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.

Some reasons for termination could be considered unlawful as they violate protections provided under state and federal law:


Terminating an employee based on protected characteristics covered by the Missouri Human Rights Act.


Firing or disciplining an employee for exercising their rights, such as filing a workers’ compensation claim or reporting safety violations.

Breach of Contract

Employers or employees violating a valid employment contract.

Occupational Safety In Missouri

Workplace safety is regulated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), with some additional provisions provided by Missouri state law.

Employers have a general duty to provide employees with a safe and healthy work environment. This includes:

  • Identifying and mitigating workplace hazards
  • Providing appropriate safety training and equipment
  • Complying with OSHA regulations relevant to their industry

Additional Considerations and Resources

Prevailing Wage

The prevailing wage applies to workers on public works construction projects in Missouri.

This ensures that workers receive wages in line with the rates determined to be ‘prevailing’ for similar work in the region.

Workers’ Compensation

Missouri has a workers’ compensation system providing benefits for employees injured on the job, regardless of fault. Benefits can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and disability payments.

Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations

This state agency enforces Missouri’s labor laws, investigates complaints, and provides resources for employers and employees.

Missouri Commission on Human Rights

This agency handles discrimination and harassment complaints under the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Understanding Missouri’s Employment Landscape

Understanding Missouri’s labor laws ensures that Missouri workers know their rights and that Missouri employers uphold their legal obligations.

These labor laws, combined with federal protections, aim to establish a fair, equitable, and safe working environment for everyone within the state.

By familiarizing yourself with these regulations, both employers and employees can foster positive workplace relationships, avoid potential disputes, and contribute to a thriving state economy.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Missouri labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Missouri, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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