As you take on a new job in Missouri, walk in prepared with knowledge of your rights as an employee. An essential part of our day is recharging throughout it, and we can only do that through breaks and lunch to eat, drink, and get some quick rest from our workload. Breaks are one of the most significant ways to get the best efficiency and productivity from our workers. The last thing any employer wants is burnt-out employees.
But what is required through the state of Missouri? Understand your rights as an employee regarding your breaks, lunchtime, and personal time in Missouri.
Understanding Missouri Break Laws
It may come as a surprise, but Missouri has no legal mandate regarding breaks during the workday. This essentially means that employers are not required to provide a break to their employees, even through an entire eight-hour shift.
However, this doesn’t mean it is not possible. While the state does not require it, that ultimately means that it is up to the individual business to discern the importance of breaks and the rules behind them. It is then up to the employee to understand these rulings and decide on their own if they agree with them before taking certain jobs.
The only regulations within the state revolve around youth in the entertainment industry. A Missouri employee in the entertainment industry under 16 can not work longer than five and a half hours without a proper meal break. Also, after every two hours of continuous work, they are owed a 15-minute break.
The Basics of Missouri’s Lunch Laws
Similar to the break laws, there is no state regulation on lunchtime in Missouri. This again means that it can be regulated by the businesses themselves and agreed upon between employer and employee. It is common to see companies allow for an hour break for lunch, but this is unpaid and can vary from business to business.
Moreover, it is required that employees be paid for every working hour. This allows employers to enforce breaks from 5-20 minutes without repercussions on pay. If this is an option, employees can take breaks and lunch periods with no issue.
While breaks and lunches are not required through state law, employees have the right to petition and address corporate policy to try to change the terms.
What Personal Time Looks Like in Missouri
This pattern continues through personal time and vacations. Missouri does not enforce any type of personal or vacation time; it is all determined by the individual business. Paid sick leave is also not a requirement of the state.
It is likely to see these benefits in businesses anyways because of the need for them by employees, but they are just that, benefits. Companies can enforce any ruling on personal time, such as the accrual system, rollover, or what happens to unused vacation time. Like breaks and lunch periods, employees can petition the business for better benefits.
Don’t be taken advantage of by your employer. If breaks, lunchtimes, and personal time are listed in your business’s policy, and you don’t see it being enacted or supported, contact the team at Baldwin & Vernon.