Currently, the minimum wage for Missouri workers is $7.30 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage. While there is a growing trend in several states for an increase in the minimum wage, the federal minimum wage has remained constant since 2009.
According to Missouri's minimum wage law, Section 290.502 of the Revised Missouri Statutes, the Missouri minimum wage has to be at least equal to the federal minimum wage. However, Missouri's law contains a provision requiring an annual adjustment to the Missouri minimum wage, based on the cost of living. Specifically, the Missouri statute states that "[t]he minimum wage shall be increased or decreased on January 1, 2008, and on January 1 of successive years, by the increase or decrease in the cost of living. On September 30+, 2007, and on each September 30 of each successive year, the director shall measure the increase or decrease in the cost of living by the percentage increase or decrease as of the preceding July over the level as of July of the immediately preceding year of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) or successor index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor or its successor agency, with the amount of the minimum wage increase or decrease rounded to the nearest five cents."
According to an announcement by the Missouri Department of Labor on November 9, 2012, Missouri's minimum wage will increase by 10 cents per hour (from $7.30 per hour to $7.35 per hour) effective January 1, 2013. This year's increase of 1.4 percent was based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers between July 2011 and July 2012, rounded to the nearest five cents.
This change in Missouri's minimum wage will also affect tipped employees (employees who regularly and customarily receive tips as part of their compensation and who receive at least $30+ per month in tips), such as servers and bartenders. Tipped employees must be paid at least 50% of minimum wage in a guaranteed cash wage. Therefore, effective January 1, 2013, the guaranteed cash for tipped employees will increase from $3.63 per hour to $3.68 per hour.
If your employer is not paying you at least minimum wage, or if you want to learn more about your rights to fair pay, you should contact a Missouri wage and hour lawyer.