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Wage and Hour Laws Archives

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.

Police officers file lawsuit in wage dispute

Three former Missouri police officers are suing the city of Potosi for several violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The officers have joined together in a class action lawsuit and are asking for $500,000 from the city. In addition to the city, the lawsuit names the police chief, the mayor and several aldermen.

The call for an increased minimum wage

On July 24, President Obama spoke in favor of increasing the minimum wage for employees. His call was echoed by employee advocates in Kansas City. Minimum wage laws provide that the federal minimum wage is only $7.25 per hour, which works out to about $15,000 per year for full-time employees. In Missouri, the minimum wage is only slightly higher, at $7.35 per hour.

Wages at sheltered workshops fuel debate

Missouri residents may be interested in sheltered workshops and the wages that they pay their employees. Sheltered workshops are non-profit organizations that provide jobs to disabled and handicapped workers. However, many of these workshops pay far less than minimum wage and do so without violating wage laws. One of these is Goodwill Industries, where some employees make as little as 22 cents per hour.

Are students being exploited by unpaid internships?

Internships are a way for many Missouri college students gain the industry experience they need to land a job after graduation. The problem, however, is that many internships are unpaid, forcing college students who want the opportunity to learn hands-on skills from professionals in their field to work for free. Recent high-profile lawsuits against employers have shed light on a practice that many deem unfair.

Bill to change prevailing wage law stalls in Missouri

Missouri's prevailing wage law sets the minimum wage rate that is required to be paid on all public works projects in the state. These include the construction of roads, bridges and government buildings paid out of state or local government funds. In 2011, a decision of the Missouri Supreme Court expanded the definition of "construction," bringing more projects within the prevailing wage law's scope. A measure introduced this session in the Missouri Senate sought a return to a more narrow application of the law. Now, Senate Democrats opposed to the bill have successfully blocked a vote on it.

Missouri worker protest spreads

In the week since it started at a South St. Louis Jimmy John's restaurant, a local work stoppage has blossomed into a worker protest. No less than two-dozen fast-food eateries in the area now have workers who are participating in street protests and rallies to fight for better conditions and representation. Some sources say that the strikers number around 100 workers.

Lawmakers introduce bill to change overtime pay rules

Republicans reintroduced a bill that has been turned down several times in the past. The proposed new name of the bill is the Working Families Flexibility Act.The current wage laws require employers to pay employees time and a half for any time that exceeds 40 hours in a week. This law does not cover independent contractors, and there are clauses regarding salaried workers. Missouri residents could consult with an employment law attorney as a resource to understand the current law and proposed legislation.

Fast food workers fight for wages and unions

Missouri and Kansas fast-food workers may be interested in the unionization efforts of fast-food workers and new wage laws in other parts of the country. Workers in New York fast-food restaurants recently held a one day strike to publicize their efforts to unionize and obtain higher wages, more certain schedules, and enhanced benefits. In December, 2012, New York passed a law that would raise the state minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per hour by 2015. Some fast-food workers say that raise isn't enough. The Women's Center for Education and Career Advancement said in a 2010 study that a single New Yorker with no dependents would need to earn $12.56 per hour to live without relying on government subsidies. The number goes up to $23.39 per hour if the worker has a child to support.

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