Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, in 1938. The act protects employees by providing minimum wage regulations and defining non-exempt and exempt employees. All states, including Missouri, must follow the FLSA guidelines providing a minimum wage for non-exempt employees and defining exempt employees properly. Defining what is an exempt position versus a non exempt position can be tricky.
Exempt Employees in Missouri
Exempt employees in Missouri, and nationwide, are workers who have primarily supervisory and managerial duties. These employees must spend at least 50 percent of their time performing management-related functions. For example, an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant must spend at lest 50 percent of his time supervising his employees and not performing other job functions, such as cleaning and cooking food for customers. If an employee is truly exempt, he will receive a weekly salary of no less than $455 and will not be eligible for overtime. Missouri's overtime exemptions include white collar employees, seasonal day camp employees, some domestic workers, handicapped workers in a sheltered workshop, commissioned salespeople and some retail and service workers. Missouri employees defined as exempt are also exempted from overtime laws.
Non Exempt Employees in Missouri
Non-exempt employees in Missouri must be receive the federal/state minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour, at the time of publication. Missouri meets the federal minimum wage standard with their minimum wage statute and requires that non-exempt employees receive no less than time and a half for overtime, the equivalent of $10.25 per hour. Employers are always free to pay employees more than the required amount, but may not pay them less without facing penalties for wage and hour violations.
Tipped Workers and Commissioned Sales Representatives
Missouri employers are not initially required to pay tipped employees the minimum wage. Employers can pay them a base wage less than the minimum wage. However, if an employee's tips and base wages do not average the Missouri minimum wage standard, the employer must pay the employee the difference. Employers do not have to pay commissioned sales representatives the minimum wage even if their commissions do not average the minimum wage per hour or the minimum salary for exempt workers of $455 per week.
Seasonal amusement park employees are exempt from the Missouri and federal minimum wage requirements. However, Missouri is the only state that limits seasonal amusement park employees to a threshold of 52 hours per week. Hours worked by seasonal amusement park employees beyond 52 hours in a work week must be at time and a half. Missouri employers, like employers nationwide, must take care in defining exempt employees versus non exempt employees. Failure to do so can result in legal liabilities.