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Minimum wage increase will help thousands of Missouri workers

In Missouri, wage laws allow for an adjustment of the minimum wage every year based upon current rates of inflation. As such, a report that was released on Aug. 15 shows that the minimum wage should increase by 15 cents on Jan. 1, 2014, making the state's new minimum hourly rate $7.50 per hour.

The annual increase in the state's minimum wage is due to a law that became effective in 2006. This law determined that the minimum wage should be adjusted every year based upon an annual inflation index known as the Midwest CPI-W, which is taken in July. According to this year's report, the Midwest CPI-W rose 1.8 percent, which would amount to a raise from the current $7.35 to $7.48. Since the state rounds this figure to the nearest nickel, the new minimum wage will be $7.50.

Missouri is one of 19 states across the nation with a statewide minimum wage that's higher than that required by federal law. Even so, not all of these other states adjust their minimum wage annually based on inflation rates.

While the raise is somewhat less than many workers had hoped for, it will nonetheless help put a few extra dollars in the pockets of some hard-working citizens. In fact, the purpose of the minimum wage law is to make sure that employers don't take advantage of their workers by paying them an unfair salary. Those who work for an establishment that fails to obey Missouri's labor laws could have relief available to them under law. An employment attorney may be able to advocate for workers to get the pay they deserve or provide advice on how to proceed with a formal complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Minimum wage likely to rise to $7.50 in Missouri on Jan. 1", David Nicklaus, August 15, 2013

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