Compliance Watch:
What are my overtime rights in Missouri?

June 10th 2024

In Missouri, overtime rights are governed primarily by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards for all employees. Overtime rights in Missouri ensure that employees are fairly compensated for their work, particularly when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

Understanding your overtime rights in Missouri is crucial to ensuring fair treatment and proper compensation in the workplace. This guide will provide an overview of your overtime rights in Missouri, covering eligibility, pay rates, exemptions, and avenues for legal recourse if overtime rights are violated.

This Article Covers

Understanding Overtime in Missouri
Common Questions About Overtime in Missouri
Legal Working Hours in Missouri
Overtime Eligibility in Missouri
    Overtime Payment Calculations in Missouri
      Receiving Overtime Payment in Missouri
      Violations of Overtime Law in Missouri

      Understanding Overtime in Missouri

      Is overtime pay mandatory in Missouri?

      Yes, overtime pay is mandatory in Missouri for eligible employees under certain circumstances. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which the state follows, mandates that eligible employees must be paid overtime at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      When do I qualify for overtime pay in Missouri?

      In Missouri, you qualify for overtime pay when you work more than 40 hours in a workweek unless you are exempted under the FLSA. Overtime eligibility is determined on a weekly basis, so even if you work fewer than eight hours in a single day, you may still qualify for overtime if your total hours for the week exceed 40.

      How much is overtime pay in Missouri?

      Overtime pay in Missouri is calculated at one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour worked beyond 40 in a workweek. For example, if your regular rate of pay is $12.5 per hour, your overtime rate would be $18.75 per hour ($12.5 x 1.5).

      Which laws govern overtime in Missouri?

      The laws governing overtime in Missouri include both federal and state regulations:

      • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):  The FLSA is the primary federal law governing overtime pay. According to the FLSA, covered nonexempt employees in the United States must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay.
      • Missouri Minimum Wage Law:  This law closely aligns with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), particularly regarding overtime pay requirements. Employers are required to pay employees overtime at a rate of at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Similar to federal law, Missouri recognizes certain exemptions where specific employees may not be entitled to overtime pay.

      Common Questions About Overtime in Missouri

      Do employers have to pay overtime in Missouri?

      Yes, employers in Missouri are required to pay overtime to eligible employees following federal labor laws. Under the FLSA, eligible employees must be paid overtime at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      Employers are obligated to comply with these overtime pay requirements and ensure that eligible employees receive their proper compensation for their overtime work. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences.

      Can an employee refuse to work overtime in Missouri?

      Yes, an employee in Missouri has the right to refuse to work overtime. However, it is important to consider the terms of the employment contract, any applicable collective bargaining agreements, and company policies regarding overtime.

      While employees have the right to decline overtime work, repeatedly refusing to work overtime could potentially result in disciplinary action or termination, depending on the circumstances and the employer’s policies.

      Can I take comp time instead of overtime pay in Missouri?

      In Missouri, private sector employees cannot offer compensatory (comp) time off in lieu of overtime pay to non-exempt employees. Compensatory time, which allows employees to take time off instead of receiving overtime pay, is only allowed for certain employees in the public sector, such as government employees.

      Under FLSA, private sector employers are required to pay eligible non-exempt employees overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      Can I get overtime pay in Missouri without employer approval?

      Overtime work must be authorized by the employer before the employee begins working additional hours beyond their regular schedule. If an employee works unauthorized overtime without employer approval, the employer may still be required to compensate the employee for the hours worked. However, the employer may also take disciplinary action against the employee for working unauthorized overtime.

      Does Missouri have double-time pay?

      Missouri does not have a state law that mandates double-time pay. Double-time pay refers to a pay rate that is twice the employee’s regular rate of hours worked beyond a certain threshold. Under the FLSA, employers are only required to pay overtime at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular rate of hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      However, some employees may voluntarily offer double-time pay as part of their company policies, employment contracts, or collective bargaining agreements.

      What is working ‘off-the-clock’ in Missouri?

      Working ‘off-the-clock’ in Missouri refers to the practice of employees performing job-related tasks or duties for which they are not compensated. This can include tasks performed before or after scheduled work hours, during meal or rest breaks, or outside of the workplace premises. Off-the-clock work is generally considered a violation of labor laws, as employees are entitled to compensation for all hours worked.

      What are common ways employers avoid paying overtime in Missouri?

      Employers may attempt to avoid paying overtime in Missouri through various methods, some of which may violate labor laws. Common ways employers try to avoid paying overtime include:

      • Misclassification: Employers may misclassify employees as exempt from overtime pay when they should be classified as non-exempt. This misclassification often occurs by improperly applying exemptions such as executive, administrative, or professional exemptions under the FLSA.
      • Off-the-Clock Work: Employers may pressure or require employees to work off-the-clock, meaning they perform job-related tasks without compensation. This can include tasks performed before or after scheduled shifts, during meal breaks, or at home.
      • Alternative Workweek Schedule: Some may implement alternative workweek schedules, such as a four-day workweek with longer shifts, to minimize overtime costs.
      • Compensatory Time Off: Employers may offer comp time instead of paying overtime wages. While this practice is allowed for certain public sector employees, it generally violates federal labor laws for private sector employees.
      • Independent Contractor Misclassification: Employers may misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid overtime pay and other employment benefits.

      Can you work seven days in a row in Missouri?

      Yes, you can legally work seven days in a row in Missouri. Missouri labor laws do not limit the number of consecutive days an employee can work. Missouri has no state-specific regulations requiring days off or rest periods within a workweek for adult employees. However, employers must comply with overtime regulations, meaning any hours worked over 40 in a workweek must be compensated at one and a half times the regular pay rate.

      How many ten-hour days can you work in a row in Missouri?

      In Missouri, no specific state laws limit the number of consecutive ten-hour workdays an employee can work. The FLSA does not impose restrictions on consecutive workdays or specific daily hour limits for adult employees. However, employers must comply with overtime regulations, meaning any hours worked over 40 in a workweek must be compensated at 1.5 times the regular pay rate.

      What are full-time hours in Missouri?

      Full-time hours in Missouri refer to a standard workweek of 40 hours. However, the definition of full-time hours may vary depending on the employer and industry. Some employers may consider employees who work fewer than 40 hours per week as part-time, while others may have different thresholds for defining full-time hours.

      How many hours straight can you legally work in Missouri?

      In Missouri, no specific state law limits the number of consecutive hours an employee can work in a single shift or workday for most adult employees. However, there are some exceptions and considerations:

      • Minors: Missouri has regulations regarding the hours and conditions of employment for minors. Minors are subject to restrictions on the number of hours they can work per day and week, as well as limitations on work hours during school days and school weeks.
      • Certain occupations: Some industries or occupations, such as transportation, healthcare, and public safety, may have federal or state regulations that impose limits on consecutive work hours to ensure employee safety and well-being.

      Regardless of consecutive work hour limits, employers must comply with overtime pay requirements under the FLSA, which mandates overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      Learn more about Missouri Break Law in our detailed guide.

      Is overtime after eight hours or 40 hours in Missouri?

      Overtime in Missouri is calculated based on hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA mandates that eligible employees receive overtime pay at one and a half times their regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Missouri state law does not require overtime pay for hours worked beyond eight in a single workday.

      Does working on the weekend qualify for overtime pay in Missouri?

      In Missouri, working on the weekend alone does not automatically qualify an employee for overtime pay. Overtime pay is determined by the total number of hours worked in a workweek, not by the specific days of the week worked.

      Employees who worked over 40 in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay, regardless of whether those hours are worked on weekdays or weekends. However, some employers may offer additional compensation or premium pay rates for weekend work as part of their company policies or collective bargaining agreements.

      How many hours-off between shifts is required in Missouri?

      There are no specific state laws in Missouri that mandate a minimum number of hours off between shifts for adult employees. However, certain industries or collective bargaining agreements may establish rest period requirements to ensure employee health and safety.

      What does ‘hours-worked’ include in Missouri?

      In Missouri, ‘hours-worked’ includes all time spent performing job-related activities for which an employer is entitled to compensation, including:

      • Time spent performing job duties, tasks, or assignments as required by the employer.
      • Any hours worked beyond the standard workweek (usually 40 hours) that qualify for overtime pay.
      • Time spent attending training sessions, workshops, or meetings required by the employer, even if it occurs outside regular working hours.
      • Time spent traveling during the workday for work-related purposes, such as traveling between job sites or attending meetings.
      • Time spent being on-call or available to work if the employee is restricted from using the time effectively for their purposes.
      • Time spent waiting for work to be assigned or waiting for equipment or materials if the employee is not free to use the time for personal pursuits.
      • Time spent during authorized meal breaks or rest breaks, if the breaks are uninterrupted and the employee is required to remain on duty or at the workplace.

      What is the most hours a salaried employee can work in Missouri? 

      No specific state law in Missouri sets a maximum limit on the number of hours a salaried employee can work in a week for most adult employees. While there is no maximum limit on hours worked for salaried employees in Missouri, employers are responsible for ensuring that work schedules do not lead to unsafe working conditions or employee fatigue.

      Under the FLSA, most employees are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek, unless they are classified as exempt employees.

      Learn more about Your Rights as a Salaried Employee in Missouri.

      What is the maximum number of hours an hourly employee can work in Missouri?

      In Missouri, no specific state law that sets a maximum limit on the number of hours an hourly employee can work in a week for most adult employees. While there is no legal maximum limit on hours worked for hourly employees in Missouri, employers are responsible for ensuring that work schedules do not lead to unsafe working conditions and non-exempt employees must be compensated for all hours worked, including overtime hours.

      Learn more about Your Rights as an Hourly Employee in Missouri.

      Overtime Eligibility in Missouri

      Who is eligible for overtime pay in Missouri?

      In Missouri, eligibility for overtime pay is determined by the FLSA, which generally applies to non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are those who earn less than $684 per week ($35,568 annually) and do not fall into specific job categories.

      Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Certain workers, such as salaried employees, independent contractors, and specific industries or job types, may be exempt from overtime pay.

      Who is exempt from overtime pay in Missouri?

      In Missouri, employees exempt from overtime pay typically fall under categories defined by the FLSA. These exempt categories include:

      • Executive employees: Individuals whose primary duty is managing the enterprise or a recognized department, who regularly direct the work of at least two other full-time employees, and who have the authority to hire or fire other employees.
      • Administrative employees: Those whose primary duty is performing office or non-manual work directly related to management or general business operations, and who exercise discretion and independent judgment on significant matters.
      • Professional employees: Workers whose primary duty involves performing work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, typically acquired through prolonged specialized intellectual instruction.
      • Outside sales employees: Employees whose primary duty is making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services or the use of facilities, and who regularly work away from the employer’s place of business.
      • Highly compensated employees: Those performing office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $107,432 or more, which includes at least $684 per week on a salary or fee basis, and who regularly perform at least one of the exempt duties of an executive, administrative, or professional employee.

      Can salaried employees get overtime pay in Missouri?

      Yes, salaried employees in Missouri can be eligible for overtime pay, depending on their job duties and salary level. Under the FLSA, not all salaried employees are exempt from overtime pay. To be exempt, salaried employees must meet certain criteria, including earning at least $684 per week ($35,568 annually) and performing job duties classified under executive, administrative, or professional categories.

      If a salaried employee does not meet these exemption criteria, they are considered non-exempt and are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. This means they should receive overtime pay at 1.5 times their regular hourly rate.

      Learn more in detail about Missouri Salaried Employees Laws and Missouri Overtime Laws.

      Overtime Payment Calculations in Missouri

      What is my regular rate of pay in Missouri?

      The regular rate of pay in Missouri is calculated based on the total remuneration for employment divided by the total number of hours worked in a workweek. This includes hourly wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, and other types of compensation.

      To determine your regular rate, you can use the following formula:

      Regular rate = Total weekly earnings / Total hours worked

      For example, if you earn $500 a week and work 40 hours, your regular rate of pay is $12.5 per hour. This regular rate is used to calculate overtime pay, which is one and a half times the regular rate for hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

      How do you calculate overtime in Missouri?

      Calculating overtime in Missouri involves determining the regular rate of pay and then applying the overtime rate to hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Here’s a step-by-step process:

      • Calculate your regular rate of pay: Divide your total weekly earnings by the total number of hours worked. For example, if you earned $500 and worked 40 hours, your regular rate of pay would be $12.5 per hour.
      • Identify your overtime hours: Determine the number of hours worked in the workweek. For instance, if you worked 50 hours, you have 10 overtime hours.
      • Calculate overtime rate: Multiply your regular rate by one and a half times. Using the previous example with a regular rate of $12.5 per hour, your overtime rate would be $18.75 per hour ($12.5 x 1.5).
      • Calculate overtime pay: Multiply overtime hours by your overtime rate. From the example, your overtime pay would be $187.5 (10 hours x $18.75).
      • Determine total weekly pay: Add the regular earnings for 40 hours to the overtime pay. If you worked 50 hours at a regular rate of $12.5 per hour, your total weekly pay, including overtime, would be $687.5 ($500 + $187.5).

      How is overtime taxed in Missouri?

      Similar to regular wages, overtime pay in Missouri is subject to federal income tax, state income tax, and FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) taxes. Overtime pay might temporarily push an employee into a higher tax bracket for federal income tax purposes, potentially resulting in a higher tax rate on overtime earnings. However, overtime pay is taxed at the same rates as regular wages.

      Receiving Overtime Payment in Missouri

      How is overtime paid in Missouri?

      Overtime pay in Missouri is generally provided through the same mode of payment as regular wages. This means if employees are paid via direct deposit, their overtime pay will be deposited in the same manner. If employees receive paper checks, their overtime pay will be included in these checks. The overtime pay must be itemized on the pay stub, showing the overtime hours worked and the rate applied.

      When do I receive my overtime paycheck in Missouri?

      The timing of receiving your overtime paycheck depends on your employer’s established pay schedule. In Missouri, it is mandatory to pay employees within 16 days of each payroll cycle. Employers typically include overtime pay in the next regular paycheck following the pay period in which the overtime hours were worked.

      For example, if your pay period ends on the 15th and you receive paychecks biweekly, your overtime for that period would be included in the paycheck issued after the 15th.

      Violations of Overtime Law in Missouri

      What if my employer refuses to pay me overtime in Missouri?

      If your employer refuses to pay you overtime in Missouri, you have several options to address the issue. First, document all hours worked and any communication with your employer regarding the unpaid overtime. Then, try to resolve the matter directly with your employer or HR department. If the issues remain unresolved, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor.

      What is the penalty for failing to pay overtime in Missouri?

      The penalty for failing to pay overtime in Missouri can include several consequences for employers. Employers may be required to pay the unpaid overtime wages owed to the employee. In addition, they may be liable for liquidated damages, which can amount to an equal sum of unpaid wages, doubling the amount owed. In cases of willful violations, the statute of limitations for recovering back wages extends from two to three years. Employers may also face civil penalties imposed by the US Department of Labor, which can include fines. Legal action taken by employees can lead to further court-ordered penalties and attorney fees.

      How can I file a wage claim for overtime in Missouri?

      To file a wage claim for unpaid overtime in Missouri, you must keep a detailed record of all hours worked, including any overtime hours, along with your pay stubs, and any communication with your employer about unpaid wages. If your employer does not resolve the issue, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the US Department of Labor.

      Can employers retaliate against employees for making a wage claim in Missouri?

      No, employers cannot legally retaliate against employees for making a wage claim in Missouri. Retaliation is prohibited under the FLSA, which protects employees’ rights to file complaints or participate in proceedings related to wage and hour violations without fear of adverse actions from their employers. Retaliatory actions can include termination, demotion, pay reduction, or any other form of discrimination against the employee.

      If an employee experiences retaliation, they can file a complaint with the WHD or pursue legal action through the courts.

      Learn more about Missouri Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

      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.