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What are the laws for tipped workers in Missouri?

Servers in Missouri work hard for the money they earn, and many rely on tips as a large portion of their income. As a result, it’s imperative that employers follow all relevant wage and hour laws when paying workers. offers the following information to help tipped workers in Missouri understand their rights.

The minimum wage in Missouri is set at $8.60 per hour. However, workers earning tips can actually earn a lower wage, provided that the number of tips they earn equals or exceeds the state minimum wage. This means that tipped workers must be paid at least $4.30 per hour by their employer, with the rest of their income being made up of tips. Despite the number of tips earned, employers are not allowed to pay less than $8.60 per hour no matter the circumstances.

Overtime pay laws do apply for many tipped workers. If an employee works in excess of a certain number of hours per week, he or she will be entitled to 1.5 times the normal hourly wage of $8.60. While employers are entitled to deduct a tip credit equaling half of the state minimum wage amount, this deduction can’t be increased simply because a worker earns overtime pay. As a result, employers can only deduct the tip credit totaling $4.30 even when overtime is factored in.  

Tip pooling is another issue to consider. Tipped employees can pool their tips, provided that employees participating receive tips on a regular basis. For example, wait staff would not be obligated to share tips with cooks, since cooks don’t usually receive tips as part of their earnings. Also, employers aren’t permitted to claim employee tips for any reason. Employers are also not permitted to use any service charges afforded customer bills as part of the deducted tip credit.

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