Wage laws are the bedrock upon which the modern economy sits. Wage regulation determines how much each employee is to be paid and when. A large percentage of consumers are wage earners, and if wages are not paid on time, the modern economy could not function with any semblance of regularity.
Unfortunately, violations of wage and hour laws are rampant across the country, including in Missouri. Wage theft costs the economy billions of dollars every year. When an employee of a business puts his or her time into working for the business, that employee is entitled to the compensation that is due.
If you believe that your wages are being improperly reduced or modified, or you are not being paid overtime despite reporting a significant amount of overtime hours to your employer, you should contact an employment lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your right to your wages. A St. Louis employment lawyer can assist you in filing wage and overtime claims and guide your claim through to its conclusion.
A Brief Overview of the Wage/Hour Law Framework
A patchwork of federal and state laws regulates wages and overtime. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act governs wage and hour laws nationally, whereas Missouri’s wage and hour laws govern payment of wages and overtime in Missouri. In addition to the laws themselves, there are various administrative agencies that regulate and enforce those laws. The federal Department of Labor investigates wage/hour violation claims across the nation. In Missouri, the Division of Labor Standards of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations regulates Missouri wage hour laws.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act sets the national floor for minimum wage and overtime laws. No state can enforce a lower minimum wage or overtime protection scheme than the federal laws, but state can provide additional regulation above the Fair Labor Standards Act provisions. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act and its amendments, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Additionally, overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times normal pay becomes enforceable after exceeding the 40 standard hours in the workweek.
Missouri Wage and Overtime Laws
Missouri law largely tracks the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, but has several minor differences. The most important of these differences is that the current Missouri minimum wage is $7.70 per hour, which is 45 cents higher than the current federal minimum wage. Unlike the federal minimum wage, the Missouri minimum wage automatically adjusts in accordance with the national Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The CPI is published by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Missouri laws also more closely regulate when wages must be paid. For example, Missouri law requires that factory workers be paid at least every 15 days. Additionally, if an employee is fired, Missouri law requires payment to be made immediately, and if it is not, within seven days after firing upon request by the employee. Those same provisions also apply to any required payment of overtime wages, as the Missouri overtime laws are payable under the state minimum wage law.
Contact a St. Louis Employment Lawyer Today
If you have questions or concerns about your wages and uncompensated overtime, you should contact the legal team at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP. Our team of St. Louis employment lawyers possess experience assisting clients with an array of employment matters including wage disputes, unpaid overtime, unemployment benefits, etc. For immediate assistance, do not hesitate to contact our team today.