Category Archives: Missouri

NEW LAW: Missouri Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana

On November 6, 2018, voters in Missouri passed Amendment 2 (the Medical Marijuana and Veteran Healthcare Services Initiative) which legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in Missouri.  With the passage of this new law, Missouri becomes the 33rd state to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Under the new law, individuals with qualifying conditions* will be able to obtain permission from their physician to legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes.  However, while medicinal marijuana use will be legal, the law is clear that employers will still be able to enforce their drug-free workplace policies prohibiting employees from working under the influence of marijuana and will be able to discipline employees for violating that policy. Continue reading NEW LAW: Missouri Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana

NEW LAW: Missouri Voters Approve Increase of Minimum Wage

Attention Missouri employers:  On November 6, 2018, Missouri voters approved Proposition B: The $12 Minimum Wage Initiative.

As a result of this victory, Missouri’s minimum wage will gradually increase by 85 cents per year until it reaches $12.00 per hour in 2023.  Since Missouri law allows employers to claim a tip credit of 50% of the minimum wage, the minimum wage for tipped employees will also change.

The exact scheduled increases are as follows:

  • January 1, 2019 — increases to $8.60 per hour ($4.30 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2020 — increases to $9.45 per hour ($4.725 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2021 — increases to $10.30 per hour  ($5.15 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2022 — increases to $11.15 per hour  ($5.575 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2023 — increases to $12.00 per hour. ($6.00 per hour for tipped employees)
  • January 1, 2024 and beyond — the minimum wage will increase each year based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

All Missouri employers should prepare for this increase.

NEW LAW: Kansas City (MO) Enacts Ban-The-Box Legislation

On February 1, 2018, the Kansas City (MO) city council passed the Kansas City ban-the-box ordinance, which goes into effect on June 9, 2018.

When this new law goes into effect, Kansas City employers with six or more employees can no longer inquire about an applicant’s criminal history until the applicant is in “the final selection pool of candidates from which a job will be filled” (i.e. after the applicant has been interviewed for the position and the employer has determined the individual is otherwise qualified for the position).

In addition, under the new law, an employer cannot refuse to hire (or promote) an applicant because of candidate’s criminal history, unless “the employer can demonstrate that the employment-related decision was based on all information available including consideration of the frequency, recentness and severity of a criminal record and that the record was reasonably related to the duties and responsibilities of the position.”

For purposes of this new law, the term “criminal history” includes:

  • Record of a conviction, or a plea of guilty or no contest, to a violation of a federal or state criminal statute or municipal ordinance;
  • Records of arrests not followed by a valid conviction;
  • Convictions which have been, pursuant to law, annulled or expunged;
  • Pleas of guilty without conviction;
  • Convictions for which a person received a suspended impositions of sentence; and
  • Misdemeanor convictions where no jail sentence can be imposed.

Recommendation for employers

It is recommended that all Kansas City employers review the hiring practices to insure compliance with the new laws.  In addition, employers need to provide training to those people involved in the hiring process about the new ban the box requirements, as these requirements impact the interview process. Finally, all Kansas City employers should review their job applications and verify that any inquiries regarding criminal history are removed from the application before June 9th.

NEW LAW: Missouri’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2018

Missouri employers, mark your calendars: The Missouri Department of Labor  recently announced that on January 1, 2018, Missouri’s minimum wage will increase from $8.44 to $8.60 per hour. The minimum wage rate for tipped employees will increase to $3.93 per hour (as employers are required to pay tipped employees at least 50% of minimum wage)

Once available, it is recommended that all Missouri employers prepare for these increases and download the new Missouri minimum wage poster.

NEW CASE: Court Confirms Missouri Human Rights Act Prohibits Workplace Sex Stereotyping

In a recent decision (Lampley v. MCHR), the Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri has held that sex stereotyping is a form of gender discrimination that is actionable under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA).  This ruling potentially extends the protections afforded under the MHRA to LGBT employees.

The Case

In this case, the employer had terminated two employees – one was an openly gay man and the other was his female coworker (and close friend).  Following their termination, both employees filed discrimination claims under the MHRA with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR).

The female employee claimed she was terminated because of her close friendship with the male employee.  The male employee claimed that he was discriminated against because his behavior and appearance contradicted the stereotypes of maleness held by his employer and managers.  He further claimed that he was treated differently that other male employees who conformed to gender stereotypes.

The MCHR viewed the male employee’s charge as one alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (which is not a protected class under the MHRA) dismissed the male employee’s charge.

The male employee then filed a lawsuit against the MCHR arguing that the MHRA did cover sex stereotyping and the MCHR had jurisdiction over the claims.  The trial court disagreed with the male employee holding that under Missouri law “neither sexual orientation nor gender stereotyping are protected classes” and dismissed the lawsuit.  The male employee then appealed the trial court’s ruling

The Holding

In a unanimous decision, the Court held that the MHRA’s prohibition of sexual discrimination extends to cases where sex stereotyping is used as a form of discrimination (i.e. where an employee is treated differently from similarly situated members of the opposite sex.).

While this case is a step towards extending MHRA protections to LGBT employees, the Court did not decide that sexual orientation discrimination is a de facto form of sex discrimination.  That is an issue yet to be determined.

Take Home for Employers

Based on this holding, Missouri employers should tread carefully with their LGBT employees and verify that their handbooks and corporate policies reflect that gender stereotyping in the employer’s workplace is not permitted.

2018 MINIMUM WAGE CHECK-UP

With various cities and counties having enacted local minimum wages and 18 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York*, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington) are increasing their own minimum wages on January 1st (December 31st for New York), employers should take time to verify that they are meeting the minimum wage requirements of their state/city/county.

The below chart sets forth the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018.

employer PAYS $1.50/hr towards medical benefits$11.91

Federal $7.25
State City/County  Amount?
Alabama  $7.25
Alaska*  $9.84
Arizona* — all cities/counties except …  $10.50
Flagstaff* $11.00
Arkansas  $8.50
California* — all cities/counties except …                                  small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $11.00
Berkeley  $13.75
Cupertino* $13.50
El Cerrito*  $13.60
Emeryville                                           small employer (55 or less) $14.00
large employer (56 or more) $15.20
Los Altos* $13.50
Los Angeles                                         small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Malibu                                                  small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Milpitas* $12.00
Mountain View* $15.00
Oakland $12.86
Palo Alto* $13.50
Pasadena                                             small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Richmond*                                             employer does NOT pay $1.50/hr towards medical benefits $13.41
employer PAYS $1.50/hr towards medical benefits $11.91
Sacramento*                                      small employer (100 or less) $10.50
large employer (101 or more) $11.00
San Diego $11.50
San Francisco $14.00
San Jose* $13.50
San Leandro $13.00
San Mateo*                                                 For-profit organizations $13.50
Non-profit organizations $12.00
Santa Clara* $13.00
Santa Monica                                       small employer (25 or less) $10.50
large employer (26 or more) $12.00
Sunnyvale* $15.00
Los Angeles County                            small employer (25 or less)

unincorporated areas                            large employer (26 or more)

$10.50

$12.00

Colorado* $10.20
Connecticut $10.10
Delaware $8.25
Florida* $8.25
Georgia $7.25
Hawaii* $10.10
Idaho $7.25
Illinois — all cities/counties except … $8.25
Chicago $11.00
Cook County

(except for the Village of Barrington)

$10.00
Indiana $7.25
Iowa $7.25
Kansas $7.25
Kentucky $7.25
Louisiana $7.25
Maine* — all cities/counties except … $10.00
Portland $10.68
Maryland — all cities/counties except … $9.25
Montgomery County $11.50
Prince George’s County $11.50
Massachusetts $11.00
Michigan* $9.25
Minnesota* — all cities/counties except … “small employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000) $7.87
“large employers” (employers with an annual sales volume of $500,000+) $9.65
Minneapolis                                         large employer (101 or more) $10.00
Mississippi $7.25
Missouri $7.85
Montana* $8.30
Nebraska $9.00
Nevada $8.25
New Hampshire $7.25
New Jersey* $8.60
New Mexico — all cities/counties except … $7.50
Albuquerque*                                             employer provides benefits $7.95
employer does NOT provide benefits $8.95
Las Cruces* $9.45
Santa Fe $11.09
Bernalillo County*unincorporated areas                                             employer provides benefits $7.85
employer does NOT provide benefits $8.85
Santa Fe County unincorporated areas $11.09
New York**  “Upstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $10.40
“Downstate” employers (excluding fast food employees) $11.00
“Small” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees $12.00
Fast food employees outside NYC $11.75
“Large” NYC employers (excluding fast food employees) $13.00
Fast food employees inside NYC $13.50
North Carolina $7.25
North Dakota $7.25
Ohio* $8.30
Oklahoma $7.25
Oregon — all cities/counties except … $10.25
Portland $11.25
Nonurban Counties 

(Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klmath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa Wheeler counties)

$10.00
Pennsylvania $7.25
Rhode Island* $10.10
South Carolina $7.25
South Dakota* $8.85
Tennessee $7.25
Texas $7.25
Utah $7.25
Vermont* $10.50
Virginia $7.25
Washington* — all cities/counties except … $11.50
City of SeaTac* (hospitality and transportation workers) $15.64
Seattle* $14.00
small employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

small employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(500 or less)

$11.50
large employer who does not pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

$15.00
large employer who does pay towards medical benefits

(501 or more)

$15.45
Tacoma* $12.00
Washington DC $12.50
West Virginia $8.75
Wisconsin $7.25
Wyoming $7.25
 * = increase in minimum wage effective January 1, 2018

** = increase in minimum wage effective December 31, 2017

 

Caveat: Please be advised that this information is being provided as a courtesy and that ePlace Solutions, Inc. does not track local laws and ordinances and will not update this information with changes in local laws and ordinances.

 

 

NEW LAW – Local Minimum Wages Banned in Missouri

Effective August 28, 2017, Missouri’s law banning localities from enacting a minimum wage that is higher than the state minimum wage (House Bill 1194). This law also prohibits Missouri localities from enacting a menu of employment benefits for private sector workplaces that exceed “state laws, rules, or regulations.”

The most significant effect of this new law, it will nullify the St. Louis’s minimum wage ordinance, which went into effect on May 5, 2017 and increased the minimum wage in St. Louis to $10.00 per hour. As a result, starting August 28, 2017, St. Louis employers can “roll back” employee wages to their pre-May 5, 2017 levels. If an employer chooses to take that course of action, affected employees must receive at least 30 days’ advanced notice of the change.

NEW LAW – Missouri Amends Its Human Rights Act

On June 30, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 43 into law. This bill amends the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) to more closely align this law with federal employment discrimination law standards and makes changes to rights and remedies for claims under Missouri’s discrimination law and claims for whistleblower retaliation.

These changes go into effect on August 28, 2017 and include the following:

  • Change in Standard of Proof to “Motivating Factor”: Plaintiffs must provide that the protected characteristic was the “motivating” factor for the adverse employment action.
  • Damage Caps: Compensatory and punitive damages are capped based on the size of the employer (ranging from $50,000 for employers with 100 or fewer employees to $500,000 for employers with more than 500 employees).
  • No Individual Liability: Managers, supervisors, and colleagues cannot be held personally liable for violations of these laws.
  • Required Summary Judgment: State Courts must use summary judgment to determine whether cases should proceed to trial based on the assembled evidence.
  • Business Judgment Defense: Employers are permitted to use a “business judgment defense” and the judge must provide a business judgment jury instruction for every MHRA case.
  • Limited Whistleblower’s Protection: Whistleblower claims can no longer be brought against the state and its political subdivisions and only certain employees qualify for whistleblower protections.

These changes only affect claims filed in Missouri state court after August 28, 2017.

It’s Official — Missouri Is The 28th Right To Work State

On February 6, 2017, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19 (Missouri’s Right to Work law) into law. This law takes effect on August 28, 2017.

With this new law, Missouri will join the other right-to-work states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

What Does This Mean For Missouri Employers?

A Right-to-Work law exempts a worker from the current legal requirement to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. Previously, under Missouri law, if a workplace has a union, then all employees must join the union (if they are not already members) as a condition of employment and must remain members of the union in order to remain employed. In other words, union membership is a condition of employment.

In a Right to Work State, a union can still be established in a workplace if a majority of the employees agree to union representation; and, once established, the union then acts as a representative of all employees. The major difference is that union membership is not a condition of employment. In other words, employees do not have to join the union (or pay union dues) in order to work for the Company.

Therefore, starting August 28, 2017, employees in Missouri cannot be required to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment

Missouri’s Minimum Wage to Increase January 1, 2017

Missouri employers, mark your calendars.  On January 1, 2017, Missouri’s minimum wage will increase from $7.65 per hour to $7.70 per hour.

Under the Missouri minimum wage law, the Missouri minimum wage must be adjusted on an annual to account for inflation.  This adjustment is made based on the change in the July reading of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from one year to the next.

During the one-year period from July 2015 to July 2016 , there was a 0.4% increase in the CPI, which, under Missouri law, causes Missouri’s minimum wage to increase by $0.05.

The Missouri Department of Labor has published the new 2017 minimum wage poster, which is available here.