EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS

Missouri Minimum Wage: Increases Jan. 1

Updated Nov. 23, 2020

Missouri minimum wage will increase to $10.30 on Jan. 1, 2021.

In 2018, Missouri voters turned to the polls to pass Proposition B: $12 Minimum Wage Initiative. The law went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, and raised the minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60, increasing $0.85 each year until the rate reaches $12 in 2023.

With Missouri minimum wage currently at $9.45 in 2020, the upcoming increases are as follows:

  • 2021: $10.30
  • 2022: $11.15
  • 2023: $12

After 2023, the rate will be indexed and increase according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Tipped employees must be paid half of the state minimum wage rate.

Missouri Minimum Wage

Prior to the 2018 ballot decision, Missouri’s state minimum wage increased annually due to indexing. The Department of Commerce would announce the next year’s rate at the end of the previous year.

However, employers in retail or service businesses whose annual gross income is less than $500,000 are not required to pay the state minimum wage rate. Employers who are not subject to the state’s minimum wage law can pay employees wages of their choosing, according to the Missouri Department of Labor. Officials do recommend contacting the U.S. Department of Labor for more information in this regard.

An updated labor law poster has been issued.

Employers found in violation of Missouri minimum wage law can be liable for the full amount of wages due as liquidated damages, less any amount actually paid, and for costs and such as attorney fees.

Minimum Wage Nationwide

Minimum wage increases and the “Fight for $15” could see more attention from lawmakers in the coming years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the challenges low-wage employees encounter, and President-elect Joe Biden has supported a push for a national $15 minimum wage.

Even as some jurisdictions, cities in California in particular, have set minimum wage rates above $15, other states have joined the push for higher wages. Notably, Florida voters in 2020 passed a minimum wage increase.

The federal minimum wage, $7.25, has not increased in more than 10 years, which has prompted states and smaller jurisdictions to increase rates on their own. Employers would be wise to audit their locations for potential minimum wage increases to ensure they’re paying the correct amount.

This blog was originally published in 2018.

This Employment Law News Blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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