Missouri Break Laws

April 6th 2024

Missouri labor laws do not cover specific regulations regarding breaks at work. However, this does not invalidate the provisions under federal law. According to federal law, employers have the discretion to provide rest and meal breaks to their employees, and it must be clearly stated in the employment contract and company policies.

Hence, both employers and employees in Missouri should be aware of their responsibilities and rights as per labor laws, particularly in terms of break benefits.

This article aims to provide an overview of Missouri’s break laws.

This article covers:

Rest Breaks in Missouri

Although there is no state law mandating employers in Missouri to provide their employees with rest breaks, it is still essential for employers to offer such breaks. Employers have the option to provide rest breaks for their employees to recharge before continuing with their work. 

According to federal law, any short breaks that last less than 20 minutes should be considered worked hours, and the employee must be compensated for this time.

Meal Breaks in Missouri

Missouri break laws do not mandate employers to provide meal breaks. As a result, the federal rules are applicable in this scenario. According to federal law, employers can provide meal periods to their employees. The employer determines the duration and frequency of meal breaks. If they choose to do so, meal breaks lasting 30 minutes or more are unpaid, and employees must be relieved of their work duties in this time.

Break Law Provisions in Missouri

While state laws do not require employers to provide breaks, most employers typically offer some break time. In the event that an employer does offer breaks, it is mandatory to follow federal law. According to federal law, any breaks that last between 5 and 20 minutes must be paid for and counted as work hours.

On the other hand, breaks that exceed 20 minutes are not considered work hours and, therefore, should not be compensated.

Breastfeeding Breaks in Missouri

Missouri has limited state legislation supporting breastfeeding among employees in the workplace. However, all breastfeeding employees in Missouri are protected by the federal PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act under FLSA.

Under the federal PUMP Act, employers are required to provide breastfeeding employees with a reasonable break time to express milk. This break benefit lasts for up to one year after childbirth. Additionally, employers should offer breastfeeding employees a private room, other than a bathroom stall, to pump milk at work.

Break Obligations for Minor Employees in Missouri

It’s important to note that in Missouri, there are no state laws regulating or requiring break or meal periods for youth employment, except for minor employees working in the entertainment industry. This exception mandates that minor employees in the entertainment industry cannot work for more than 5.5 hours without taking a meal break, and they must take a 15-minute rest period for every 2 hours of work.

Rest Day Requirements in Missouri

In Missouri, there are no enforced rest day requirements for employers. Employees are expected to work a standard workweek of 40 hours, regardless of the schedule set by their employer. However, if an employee works more than 40 hours in a week, the employer must compensate them with an overtime rate for the excess hours.

Learn more about Missouri Labor Laws and Missouri Overtime Laws through our detailed guides.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.