What are Missouri Labor Laws?
Labor laws arose parallel to the industrial revolution as the relationship between employer and employee changed from small scale to large scale factories. Employers sought a more flexible and cost-effective workforce while laborers sought better working conditions. Laborers also sought the right to join a labor union. Labor law is the product of and component of struggles between several social forces.
Missouri labor laws
Missouri labor law is governed by the department of labor and industrial relations. Missouri labor laws, as well as federal employment laws, regulate the employer-employee relationship. Like most states, Missouri protects its workers in every aspect of the employment relationship.
Child labor refers to engaging a child into employment for wage or remuneration. In the state of Missouri, any child under the age of 12 is not allowed to be employed or engaged in any work for pay. The exception to this rule is employer seeking to employ a child in the entertainment industry. A minor shall not be employed as a full-time employee. A minor is subject to limited work timing. Minors under 16 are not allowed to work in
- Machinery care and maintenance
- Stone cutting and polishing except for jewelry
- Operation of motor vehicles and heavy machinery
- occupation involving exposure to any toxic or hazardous chemicals
- any job associated with alcohol
- mines, mills, construction sites or any place involving high risk
The employer of minor has to keep an age proof of the child at all times during the period of employment.
The Department of labor annually reviews the minimum wage. The minimum wage is set according to the increase or decrease in the cost of living in Missouri. The federal wage rates apply in Missouri. If the employer has to pay the minimum wage rate, either federal or state, the higher value is applied. Employees with disabilities are paid the standard minimum wage.
In the case of tipped employees, the minimum wage laws apply only when the employee's wage including the tips is less than the minimum wage rate. The employer has to pay the difference.
In Missouri, employers have to pay one and a half times the regular rate for overtime work. The work regulation is 40 hours in a 7sevenday work week, beyond which is considered overtime unless otherwise exempt from the Federal Labor Standard Act overtime requirement.
Leave/Leave of absence
Employees enjoy paid leave, such as vacation time, paid holidays, sick days, and such. In Missouri, paid leave benefits are at the discretion of the employer. Employers in Missouri have to give up to 3 hours of paid time off to employees to vote. Jury duty is unpaid leave and employers are not allowed to force the employees to use their accrued leave. Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, employees taking leave of absence to work for federal or state military duty have to be given their job back. Some employees are granted up to 26 weeks off to take care of the injured family member while on military duty. Missouri does not have a medical leave law.
Missouri is a ‘work at will' state meaning, the employee may quit at any time without reason. The employee may be fired too, for any legal reasons by the employer. For reasons deemed discriminatory and reactive, employees are protected from being fired.
Discrimination and harassment
Under federal civil rights, an employer is not allowed to discriminate between employees based on race, color, national origin, sex, or religion. Federal laws also prohibit age-based discrimination which usually occurs when the employee is over 40 years of age or has a disability.
Harassment is an unwelcomed action or statement based on protected traits such as age, sex, religion or nationality. Workplace harassment is illegal in Missouri.
An unemployment benefit can be drawn by a person who is not employed. It applies to a worker who had to quit involuntarily or was fired. To qualify for this benefit, the employee must meet Missouri's earning requirements. A percentage of their previous earnings is given to the employee as long as he/she is looking for a job.
Missouri labor law is simple to understand and implement. Understanding the law and following the rules and regulations put-forth, serves as a benefit to both employee and employer.