About the Department

Mission Statement:

To promote industry and
labor and protect the rights
and safety of Missouri's workforce.

The Missouri Labor Department is comprised of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission and five divisions:

  1. The Division of Employment Security adjudicates claims for and provides payment of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for employees who become unemployed through no fault of their own. To finance the payment of UI benefits to qualified claimants, the DES collects contributions (taxes) from Missouri employers;
  2. The Division of Workers' Compensation ensures that workers injured on the job receive the benefits they deserve and investigates allegations of workers’ compensation fraud and noncompliance;
  3. The Division of Labor Standards regulates wages and wage rates and promotes safe working environments;
  4. The State Board of Mediation determines the appropriate bargaining unit for public employees and regulates utility labor relations; and
  5. The Missouri Human Rights Commission enforces and adjudicates Missouri’s anti-discriminatory, fair housing and employment, and public accommodation statutes.

Division of Employment Security

The Division of Employment Security collects tax contributions from employers and pays unemployment benefits to individuals who are determined eligible under the law. State unemployment contributions paid by Missouri employers into the Missouri Trust Fund are set aside for the sole purpose of providing for the payment of weekly unemployment benefits to qualified claimants.  The unemployment benefits paid to insured workers help to maintain the economy of the state during periods of economic downturn by helping preserve the level of consumer purchasing power.

The Division's contributions section ensures that employers are properly classifying their workers, reporting their workers' wages and paying the correct tax contributions on wages.

Division of Workers' Compensation

The Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation administers the programs which provide for Missouri workers who are injured on the job or develop occupational diseases. The Division focuses on making sure that those who can return to work do so as soon as possible, having received adequate treatment and benefits.  For those who cannot return to work because of their injury or injuries, the Division ensures that they receive the permanent benefits allowed by Missouri law.

The Division has eight offices throughout Missouri with the main office being in Jefferson City.  Missouri employers are required to report workplace injuries within 30 days of occurrence.  The Division processes approximately 120,000 reports of injury each year. 

Division of Labor Standards

The Division of Labor Standards currently consists of four sections: Wage and Hour, On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Service, Mine and Cave Safety and Health, and the Workers’ Safety Program.

The Division determines and enforces the Prevailing Wage, administers and enforces Missouri’s Child Labor Law and Missouri’s Minimum Wage Law. 

The Division offers a free confidential, consultation service to employers to ensure they comply with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. 

The Division inspects mine and cave sites, trains miners in the practice of implementing safe and healthy working habits.

The Division certifies and audits safety consultants, engineers, and programs used by employers. 

State Board of Mediation

The State Board of Mediation is a quasi-judicial board created by the General Assembly in 1947.  Article I Section 29 of the Missouri Constitution states that all employees shall have the right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing.  The Board of Mediation is charged with determining appropriate bargaining units of public employees, based on their community of interests and regulating of the labor relations of public utilities. The Board also conducts elections to determine the representation status of petitioning bargaining units for public employees only.

Missouri Commission on Human Rights

The Missouri Human Rights Act requires the Commission to receive, investigate, settle or conciliate complaints of alleged discrimination and conduct public hearings.  The Commission is enabled to certify local commissions, establish relationships with federal and local civil and human rights agencies, implement educational or research programs and develop ways to prevent discrimination.  The Commission responds to complaints of alleged discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical/mental disability handicap, age (40-69 employment only) and familial status (housing only).