Most actions for underpayment or failure to pay wages by an employer are enforced by the federal Department of Labor or federal district court under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). With that said, the State of Missouri has adopted its own set of statutes governing the payment of wages and circumstances under which overtime must be paid to employees. The below article details the substance of Missouri wage and hour law. To further discuss a particular circumstance, contact attorney Kevin J. Dolley directly at (314)645-4100.
Definition of "Employee" under Missouri Wage and Hour Law
Section 290.500(3) RSMo. defines employee by listing those whom do not fall within the definition of "employee." Such exceptions to the definition of employee include those employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, certain educational, charitable, religious and nonprofit volunteers, certain seasonal employees, sales commission employees, baby sitters for private residents and certain other narrow exceptions.
Wages Due Under Missouri Law
Missouri law indicates that wages are due to employees "in legal tender of the United States or checks on banks convertible into cash on demand at full face value." Section 290.500(7) RSMo.
Pursuant to Section 290.505, Missouri law requires that employers pay employees, who work longer than forty hours in a work week, overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. Missouri law specifically notes that the overtime requirements under the FLSA and other federal laws are applicable in Missouri and the exemptions from federal minimum wage or overtime requirements under federal law are incorporated into Missouri law and that Missouri law must be interpreted in accordance with the FLSA. Section 290.505.3.
Mandated Recordkeeping under Missouri Law
Section 290.520 requires that employers maintain for three years employment records including name, address, occupation, rate of pay, amount paid each pay period, hours worked and all compensation paid to employees. Missouri law further requires posting of wage and hour posters and notices.
Damages Under Missouri Wage and Hour Law
Missouri law prohibits discrimination against employees who report wage and hour violations by a business. Section 290.525(7). An employer who fails to properly pay wages is liable for the full amount of the wages due and an amount equal to the amount of unpaid wages (double or liquidated damages) as a penalty for failure to properly compensate an employee. Section 290.527. An employee's agreement to work for less than the wage rate is not a valid defense.
Contact a Missouri Wage, Hour and Overtime Attorney
If you are a Missouri employee or employer with a question about unpaid wages or overtime, contact Missouri wage and hour lawyer Kevin J. Dolley directly at (314)645-4100 or by email at Kevin@dolleylaw.com.