Part-time employment laws in Missouri are designed to protect workers from experiencing pay inequities. The laws that are interpreted and enforced by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations also cover areas such as meal breaks, time off and payroll records. Most of the laws apply to all employers who operate businesses in the state.
Part-time employees in Missouri must receive no less than the state’s minimum wage for work they complete for employers operating in the state. Missouri’s minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour as of April 2011. The minimum wage rate is the same as the federal minimum wage rate. An exception applies for employers who generate less than $500,000 a year in revenues. These employers are not required to pay their workers the state minimum wage rate. If part-time employees earn tips, they can receive a minimum wage equal to $3.625 an hour. However, if these part-time workers’ tips and tipped minimum wage do not equal at least $7.25, their employers must pay them the difference.
After part-time employees work more than 40 hours during a week, they must receive overtime pay. For example, if part-time employees are asked to work on special projects that require them to work long hours during a day or to work on weekends, they must receive overtime pay if they work over 40 hours a week. Missouri’s overtime pay rate is one and one half times part-time employees’ standard hourly wages. Therefore, part-time employees with standard hourly wages of $20 must receive $30 for all time they work above 40 hours in a week. Employers do not have to pay employees overtime if they work more than eight hours a day.
Meal Breaks and Vacations
Although employers are not legally required to pay their employees for meal breaks and vacations, if their company policies state that they will pay part-time employees for taking meal breaks or for authorized vacation days, they must adhere to their company policies. For example, if employers have company policies stating that they will pay part-time employees up to five vacation days a year, they must pay the workers for authorized vacation time they take.
For each part-time worker they employ, organizations must list their name, address, occupation and standard wage. They must also list the numbers of regular and overtime hours that part-time employees work each week. Missouri requires employers to keep these records for at least three years. Should an official from the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations need to review the records in response to a wage or hour complaint, they are permitted to do so.
Failure to comply with the employment laws can cause employers to get investigated by the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. If employers are found guilty of breaking one of the laws, they can be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor. Additionally, employees can also take their employers to court and receive back pay for all standard and overtime wages they are due. If courts rule in favor of their workers, employers must also pay their workers’ court fees.
Rhonda Campbell is an entrepreneur, radio host and author. She has more than 17 years of business, human resources and project management experience and decades of book, newspaper, magazine, radio and business writing experience. Her works have appeared in leading periodicals like "Madame Noire," "Halogen TV," "The Network Journal," "Essence," "Your Church Magazine," "The Trenton Times," "Pittsburgh Quarterly" and "New Citizens Press."