Can my employer pay me based on the number of pieces produced?

 piece rate, if being paid by the number of pieces produced the pay must still be at least minimum wage

Some workers are paid by the number of pieces (or items) that they produced.  They must still be paid at least the minimum wage.  In order to calculate use this formula: (pre-tax wages on paycheck) divided by (the number of hours worked during the pay period) = hourly wage. That hourly wage must at least be $7.70 for workers in Missouri.

To learn more about laws around wages see our wage theft page.

 

Can a debt collector call my family?

 what if a debt collector is calling my employer or family? A debt collector should not be discussing your debt with anyone else. A debt collector can contact others only to seek info on how to reach you.

Debt collectors may contact your family in order to ask about information on how to reach you.  Debt collectors may not discuss your debt with anyone else or contact them repeatedly.  Also, debt collectors may not call your work if you've have told them to stop. If the debt collector continues to call your employer or your family, contact us.

You may read more about what debt collectors may and may not do on our debt collection page. 

I think my paychecks are short.

 missing hours on your paycheck?  Management may be deleting hours to  keep labor costs down. It's wage theft. GO TO JobsandFREEDOM.ORG To learn more

Management may be tampering with your pay to help keep labor cost down.   Wage theft is a serious issue for low-wage workers, estimates state as much as $20-50 billion dollars are stolen from workers every year by their employers.  If your paycheck doesn't quite look right then it's time to track your hours. Dept. of Labor offers an app, if you happen to have an iphone.  Otherwise, you'll need to keep track of your hours in another way: a small notebook you carry with you, the note app on your phone or keeping your time slips in a folder.  Keep track of each clock-in and clock-out (including breaks) for one pay period. Compare the total hours with the hours on the paycheck. If you believe you may be a victim of wage theft call us.

More information about wage theft may be found here

What's Missouri's minimum wage?

 Missouri minimum wage is currently $7.70 per hour.

While the federal minimum wage is $7.25, in Missouri the minimum wage is $7.70. Employers must pay overtime (time and a half) when an employee works more than 40 hours in a work week.  An employer who fails to pay minimum wage or overtime violates the law even if the employee has agreed to be paid less. 

To read more information about Missouri minimum wage and wage laws click here

Can I be fired for being gay?

 if working Kansas City, MO, it is illegal for an employer or co-worker to treat you differently due to your sexual orientation.

Kansas City, Missouri, has a civil rights ordinance which states you may not be discriminated against on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, familial status, marital status and gender identity.  This ordinance applies to employment and housing discrimination.  If you believe you have been discriminated against please contact our office to speak with an attorney.

Read more information about employment discrimination here

Can my employer run a background check without me knowing?

 An employer must obtain your permission in order to conduct a background check

Employers are permitted to run background checks.  However, there are many laws regulating the use of those background checks.  Part of the requirements is that you, as the employee, must consent to the background check before it is ran.  Typically, your consent is given through your signature on the notice. If you want to learn more about how employers may and may not use background checks click here

I work for tips, can my job pay me less than minimum wage?

 Tipped workers must make enough with tips and hourly wage to be equal to or more than the minimum wage.

Tipped workers can be paid the “sub-minimum wage” ($3.85 in Missouri for most employers) but only if the worker makes enough in tips and wages combined to equal the minimum wage of $7.70 per hour.  All tips received belong to the employee, not the employer, even when they exceed the minimum wage.  Tips may only be pooled among those workers who typically receive tips.  More information may be found here about minimum wage laws and your rights as an employee.

My landlord refuses to fix the heat, can I withhold rent?

 my landlord refuses to fix the heat, can i withhold rent? If your landlord violates your rights, do not withhold rent. Instead,call us. Low-wage workers may call us for free consult.

If your landlord is refusing to make repairs to your home you may be tempted to withhold rent.  Do not withhold the rent, instead low-wage workers may call our office to discuss your legal rights.  A landlord may be able to evict you for withholding rent and, under Missouri law, it is unclear whether a landlord’s abuses may be used as a defense for non-payment. 

Read more information about your rights as a renter in Missouri here

I never get a lunch break and I don't get paid for it either.

 Lunch breaks?What lunch breaks?Yet, every friday these breaks are taken out of my paycheck. This doesn't seem right. It's not right! It's wage theft!

An employer cannot dock a worker’s hours for breaks that were never actually taken.  Employers are not required to pay an employee for a meal breaks (usually) 30-60 minutes). But employers must pay the employee for any break that is 20 minutes or less. If you're a low-wage worker and you believe your employer is deducting breaks, that weren't taken, from your pay call our office to discuss. 

Click here to learn more about wage theft and how to protect yourself.