Let's Talk Business: 2019 Brings New Laws, Rules and Guidelines

Jan 6, 2019

2019 is a new year and with it comes a new set of laws, rules, and guidelines. Are you prepared?

The Minimum Wage Rate in Missouri for private employers changed effective January 1, 2019. The Governor’s office announced the new rate is $8.60 per hour. All private businesses are required to pay at least the minimum hourly rate, except retail and service businesses whose annual gross sales are less than $500,000. They are still covered under the Federal Minimum Wage Law.

As a result of the voter approved Proposition B on November 6, 2018, the minimum wage will increase 85 cents per hour each year through 2023 ultimately resulting in a minimum wage of $12 per hour in that year. Compensation for tipped employees must also total at least $8.60 per hour and employers are required to pay tipped employees at least 50 percent of the minimum wage, plus any amount necessary to bring the employee’s total compensation to the minimum of $8.60 per hour.

Missouri law does not apply to public employers, not does it allow the state’s minimum wage rate to be lower than the federal minimum wage rate which currently stands at $7.25 per hour.

While this new law has been praised by many employees groups and unions, the ultimate effect remains to be seen. Several businesses have announced wage creep may result in price hikes in the coming years to offset increased labor costs. Of course, that could lead to inflation.