Missouri Minimum Wage Increase Law Includes Changes in Overtime Compensation Rules – January 1, 2007

As of January 1, 2007 the Missouri minimum wage increased by $1.35 an hour, from $5.15 to $6.50 an hour. Missouri voters approved that proposal November 7 2006. The new law also requires the state minimum wage to adjust annually beginning January 1, 2008, based on changes in the consumer price index.

The new minimum wage law applies to Missouri retail and service businesses whose annual gross sales are $500,000 or more. Employers are now responsible for keeping a record of the following information for a period of at least three years: name, address and occupation of each employee; the rate of pay; the amount paid each pay period to each employee; the hours worked each day and each workweek by the employee; any goods or services provided by the employer to the employee as provided under the law.

In addition to the increase in the minimum wage, there are other significant changes in the law concerning overtime compensation in Missouri. Specifically, certain categories of federal overtime pay exemptions that Missouri adopted under the old law will no longer apply. Employees who are exempt from overtime pay under Section 29 U.S.C. 207 of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, are no longer automatically exempted under the Missouri law. Despite the federal exemption, the new Missouri minimum wage law requires employers to compensate these employees with overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week at a rate not less than one and one-half times their regular rate of pay. Employers should immediately review current pay practices to ensure that they are in compliance with all aspects of the new Missouri law.