Missouri law requires that final wages be paid to an employee upon the end or termination of employment. An employer who fails to pay final wages is in violation of Missouri Statute 290.110 RSMo.
Section 290.110 requires that that all final wages be paid without any deductions. This section is not applicable to employees paid by commission, through collection of accounts or when an accounting is needed to determine final wages. The purpose of the statute is to allow for quick payment of wages at time of discharge without further dispute. Final due wages are to be paid at the regular rate of pay and payable in one payment. An employer can set-off a valid debt owed by an employee against final wages without incurring a penalty.
Wages must be paid at the "contract rate," which refers to the basic rate of pay and has no reference to vacation credits or the number of days worked during preceding calendar year. The amount must also be paid once and in the final sum due.
In order to trigger the penalty requirements of Section 290.110, the statute indicates that the employee must request the final wages in writing. If that demand for final payment is not met within seven (7) days, a penalty for nonpayment at the contract rate of pay for up to no more than sixty (60) days of wages will be imposed. It does not matter the final amount of wages due and no minimum amount of wages must be at issues for the penalty provision to be triggered by failure to pay final wages. See Doores v. Intercontinental Engineering-Manufacturing Corp., 670 S.W.2d 65 (App. W.D. 1984).
The demand for payment of final wages must be made timely in order to trigger the penalty provision within the statute. See, e.g., Monterosso v. St. Louis Globe-Democrat Publ'g Co., 368 S.W.2d 481, 485-86, 489 (Mo.1963) (holding that requests for unpaid wages under § 290.110 sent to employer at least 90 days and in some cases 180 days after discharge were untimely because employees had waited an unreasonable amount of time to present the requests to employer).