Tag Archives: Missouri

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 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.

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.

DOL Partnership regarding worker misclassification — 34 States and Counting

Thirty-five states have agreed to “team up” with the US Department of Labor to investigate worker misclassification. Is your state one of them?

In 2015, Department of Labor launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. As a part of this initiative, the Department of Labor sought to partner with the state agencies and agree to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification. To date, 35 states have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding worker misclassification issues.

These states are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What does this mean for employers in these states?

Employers in the above-listed states should expect collaborative efforts between their state agencies and the Department of Labor during a investigation into potential employee misclassification as the state and the Department of Labor will share information. This could lead to simultaneous, multi-agency investigations into worker classification. It is recommended that companies have qualified legal counsel review any existing independent contractor arrangements. In addition, before entering into an independent contractor relationship, speak with an HR Professional or qualified legal counsel to verify that the worker truly is an independent contractor.

New Missouri Law Prohibits Cities From Establishing Minimum Wage Rates

On September 16, 2015, the Missouri legislature overrode Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 722, a measure that, among other things, prohibits Missouri cities from raising the local minimum wage. This new law prohibits a “political subdivision” of Missouri (e.g. a city, county, etc.) from establishing a local minimum wage that might exceed the Federal or State requirements. However, this new law does not preempt any local minimum wage ordinance that was in effect on or before August 28, 2015.