In this Edition...

This newsletter highlights events and programs offered through the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Missouri Show Caves—We’ve got you covered

CavesLooking to escape the summer heat? Head underground and enjoy one of Missouri’s most notorious natural features—caves.

“Visiting one of Missouri’s 24 show caves can be a fun and exciting family experience, especially during hot summer months,” Missouri Director of Mine and Cave Safety Les Thomas said. “With a lot of activities and features, everyone can enjoy a Missouri cave.”

Missouri caves typically maintain an average temperature of 55-58 degrees Fahrenheit, making them a perfect retreat on long, hot, humid days.

But, how do you know a cave is safe before taking your family inside? If it is a public or show cave, our Mine and Cave Safety Division is looking out for you and yours with routine inspections.

“The visitors can be assured the cave they visit has been thoroughly inspected by one of our mine and cave inspectors to ensure their safety,” Thomas said. “I encourage everyone to visit and learn more about caving and the history of our amazing caverns and caves in Missouri.”

Missouri public and show caves must be equipped with safety guard rails, bridges, ladders, entrances, platforms, walkways, safety barriers, rails, paths and other safety measures in and around the cave before they are opened to the public. The division also requires a map of the cave to be on file, and conducts ongoing inspections.

When a safety hazard is found, the owner or operator of the cave is required to bring the cave back into compliance.

Whether you are retracing the steps of Mark Twain, grabbing a bite to eat, sampling a refreshing Missouri wine or diving into the depths of Bonne Terre Mine, you can rest assured that our mine and cave safety team have put their decades of experience to work making sure your family outing is as safe as possible.

Click here to find Missouri public and show caves near you.

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Worker Protection Center—Filing a Wage Complaint

Worker Protection CenterIf you ever find yourself not paid the wages due to you under Missouri laws, our Worker Protection Center is here to help.

This includes violations of the minimum wage law and prevailing wage law.

Missouri’s prevailing wage law establishes a minimum wage for workers on public works construction projects in the state. This includes roads and bridges and government buildings like city halls or public schools. Prevailing wages vary by county and job title. Each wage is outlined in the Annual Wage Order, and an unofficial copy of the wage order is available online here.

If you believe you are not being paid proper wages under Missouri’s prevailing wage law, visit the Worker Protection Center at labor.mo.gov/worker-protection-center and click “File a Wage Complaint” and then “File a Prevailing Wage Complaint.”

All other wage complaints are considered minimum wage complaints, as they would fall under Missouri’s minimum wage law. Missouri’s current minimum wage is set at $7.65 per hour.

If you have not been paid for all hours worked, are not receiving overtime pay after working more than 40 hours in a week or if your employer is subject to the minimum wage law and you are receiving less that that rate, you may file a minimum wage complaint.

To file a minimum wage complaint online, visit the Worker Protection Center and click “File a Wage Complaint.” Then click “File a Minimum Wage Complaint.”

Our Worker Protection Center is an online hub to connect workers to our divisions. Other tools available through the Worker Protection Center include reporting safety hazards, filing a discrimination complaint and reporting a workplace injury.

For more information about wage laws in Missouri, visit our Wages, Hours and Dismissal Rights webpage.

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MCHR Diversity Spotlight - All People/Freedom (July 4th)

American Flag/FireworksThe month of July marks the birthday of our Nation, and is a time to celebrate the rights and liberties enjoyed by all people of this great land.

In June 1776, following persistent conflict between the thirteen colonies and Great Britain, the Second Continental Congress convened with the laudable objective of exerting colonial sovereignty. This conference would eventually produce the Declaration of Independence, officially adopted July 4, 1776 and first established as a holiday in 1870.

The document specifically notes individual rights and freedoms, declaring, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Although not all individuals were effectively included in the application and protection of the rights outlined in the document, subsequent legislation would afford civil rights protection to previously non-covered individuals. As our Nation and the world evolves, so too does our understanding of the needs of Americans and world citizens to maintain and preserve the hard-fought freedoms for all.

In Missouri, civil rights are afforded protection through the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), which precludes adverse treatment based on a protected category in employment, places of public accommodation, or housing. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights is the state agency responsible for the enforcement of the MHRA, primarily through complaints filed by aggrieved parties and through education and outreach designed to prevent discrimination and foster mutual understanding.

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of any category protected under the MHRA, contact MCHR toll-free at (877) 781-4236 or take the quick assessment to determine if the MHRA applies to your situation.

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