It’s important to stay up to date on all of the employment laws in your state so that you can maintain compliance in your business. We did some of the hard work for you and put some of the most important Missouri statutes in one place so you can either learn them for the first time or give yourself a refresher. 

However, remember that our summary is not qualified legal advice, laws are always subject to change, and they can vary from municipality to municipality. 

It’s up to you to make sure you’re compliant with all laws and statutes in your area. Consult with a qualified lawyer and/or your local government agencies if you have questions or concerns. 

Here are a few Missouri labor laws every small business owner should know.


First, here are a few helpful links and resources for you to bookmark and refer back to:


  • Sick Days: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid sick leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
  • Medical Leave: An employer in Missouri may be required to provide an employee unpaid sick leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act or other federal laws.
  • Vacation Leave: Employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid vacation leave but must comply with their own established policies if they choose to implement one.
    • Employers can establish a policy denying a pay out of any accrued vacation time upon separation from employment. 
    • Employers can cap the amount of vacation time that may be accrued, and can also implement a “use-it-or-lose-it” policy that requires employees to use their leave by a set date. 
  • Jury Duty: Employers do not have to pay an employee for time spent responding to a jury summons, but they may not punish the employee in any way or require them to use any available leave. 
  • Holiday Leave: Private employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid time off for holidays. 
  • Voting Leave: Employers must provide employees with 3 hours of time off to vote if they provide prior notice and if there is not enough time before or after their shift.   
  • Bereavement Leave: Employers are not required to provide bereavement leave.

Final Paycheck

  • Employees who are terminated or laid off must be paid all final wages on the day of discharge. If the employee does not receive the wages on the discharge day, they should request in writing to be paid, and if they don’t receive their wages after 7 days of the request they can file suit against the employer. 
  • There are no statutes regarding when an employee who quits or resigns due to a labor dispute should be paid their final wages. 

Minimum Wage

  • The current minimum wage in Missouri is $8.60. 
  • The minimum wage is reviewed annually and increased by the percentage the cost of living has changed from the prior year. 

Tipped Wages

  • The minimum wage for tipped employees is $4.30. 
  • Employers are allowed to require employees to participate in tip pooling or sharing arrangements. 

Child Labor

Minors 14 and 15 years of age are subject to the following time restrictions:

  • When school is in session:
    • A maximum of 3 hours per day on school days
    • A maximum of 8 hours per day on non-school days 
    • No more than 6 days a week
    • Only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and no working during school hours 
  • When school is not in session:
    • A maximum of 8 hours per day 
    • Only between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day 
    • A maximum of 40 hours and 6 days a week

Minors 16 and 17 years of age do not have any restrictions. 

Meal and Rest Breaks, Overtime

  • Employers are required to pay non-exempt employees an overtime rate of 1 ½  their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of 40. 
  • There are no laws requiring employers to provide meal periods or breaks, so the federal rules apply. 
    • Federal law does not require employers to provide meal periods or breaks, but if they choose to do so, breaks lasting less than 20 minutes must be paid. 
    • Meal periods do not need to be paid if employees are free to do as they wish. 

Employment Discrimination

  • The Missouri Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical/mental disability, and age (between ages 40 and 70 only).
  • Click here to read our blog on what acceptable and unacceptable questions to ask during an interview.       


Missouri is an employment-at-will state, which means that without a written employee contract, employees can be terminated for any reason at any time, provided that the reason is not discriminatory and that the employer is not retaliating against the employee for a rightful action. 

Shift Scheduling

There are currently no laws regarding shift scheduling in Missouri. 


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