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

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Briggs and Stratton Boosts Morale Through Shared Work

Shared WorkPOPLAR BLUFF—Small engine maker Briggs and Stratton’s Poplar Bluff manufacturing facility is a long-time participant in Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Shared Work program, and company representatives say the biggest benefit is the atmosphere it helps create.

“It keeps the morale of our team members up because it’s disheartening when you don’t get a full week’s worth of pay because a machine breaks down or a part doesn’t come in or something else completely out of your control,” Briggs and Stratton Human Resources Assistant Pam Sullivan said. “With this program, they aren’t getting their full pay, but they are getting something, and something can go a long way when the alternative is nothing.”

Shared Work is an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a reduction in available work. It allows an employer to divide available work among employees instead of layoffs, and employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours for up to 52 weeks.

The program provides benefits to employees and employers alike. In addition to the security of a paycheck during slow times, Shared Work helps retain employees the company has invested in with time and money.

In the case of Briggs and Stratton, these benefits reach a large percentage of its 500-person Missouri workforce.

“At one time or another, nearly every person employed here has been on the program,” Sullivan said.

The company uses Shared Work when component parts fail to arrive in time and when plant machinery needs repairs, as those repairs can often take a few days. Prior to the inception of the Shared Work Program, that meant employees whose jobs depended on that machinery or those parts were losing that many days worth of pay. In some cases, it meant a shutdown of the entire assembly line.

With Shared Work in place, those same employees are receiving up to $64 per 8-hour work day missed.

According to Sullivan, the program also helps attract new talent to Briggs and Stratton’s full-time workforce as it demonstrates that the company finds ways to ensure their employees are compensated.

Learn more about the Shared Work program at


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Determining the Prevailing Wage

How the Prevailing Wage is DeterminedPrevailing wages are the minimum wage that must be paid to workers on public works construction projects such as construction of new public buildings, roads and bridges in Missouri, but, how are these wages determined?

Prevailing wages are set on a county-by-county basis, and the process differs slightly depending on the class of the county. However, it begins in all counties with the contractor’s wage survey.

The contractor’s wage survey is available online and collects information such as dates worked, wages paid, fringe benefit details and occupational titles of workers on commercial construction jobs.

Once completed, the contractor’s wage surveys are reviewed by the Division of Labor Standards.

In each county, the wage rate noted the most—the mode—for each occupational title is selected.

If no hours are submitted for specific occupational titles in a first class or most second class counties, the current Collective Bargaining Agreement is the prevailing wage for that occupational title in that county.

When no hours are reported for an occupational title in third and fourth class counties and second class counties with populations between 58,000 and 65,000, the Division of Labor Standards takes into account the previous six years of contractor’s wage surveys received. If no contractor’s wage surveys have been received by the Division of Labor Standards, it will examine prevailing wages in adjacent counties before defaulting to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The Annual Wage Order details prevailing wages set through this process and is filed with the Secretary of State by March 10 each year. Once filed, there is a 30 day objection period. Counties, cities, school boards, other public entities and contractors working on public works jobs use this document to find prevailing wages for their projects.

Learn more about the prevailing wage on our website.


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MCHR Diversity Spotlights

LGBT Pride Month

MCHR Diversity Spotlight - LGBT Pride MonthDiverse sexual orientations and gender identifications of Missourians and individuals worldwide are celebrated in June as the month was marked in a 2009 presidential proclamation as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month.

In his first term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon took steps toward protecting Missourians from discrimination with an executive order in 2010. The order prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation within state government. Additionally, the Governor used his 2014 State of the State Address as a platform to call for an end to discrimination against all Missourians. He urged legislators to pass the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support in 2013 but did not pass the Missouri House of Representatives.

“We need to end discrimination against LGBT Missourians in the workplace,” Gov. Nixon said. “No Missourian should be fired because of who they are or who they love.”

Passage of the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act would protect LGBT individuals against discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the categories protected from discrimination in the Missouri Human Rights Act.

While an addition to the Missouri Human Rights Act has not passed Missouri legislature, there are some protections available in certain circumstances. Missourians who believe they have been discriminated against for failing to conform to gender stereotypes may file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Federal employees as well as employees of businesses or organizations that contract with or are funded by the federal government are also protected by executive orders currently in place.

Additionally, several local governments in Missouri have ordinances protecting against discrimination on the basis of gender identification for public and private employers including Columbia, Clayton, Kansas City, Kirkwood, Olivette, the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and University City.

Individuals may visit the following resources to learn more:

Missourians may show support to the LGBT community by visiting the following events.
St. Louis:

Kansas City:

St. Joseph:

  • St. Joe Pride 2015—June 19-20 at Coleman Hawkins Park. The celebration includes live music and performances, a parade, a kid’s area, speakers and panel discussions.


  • Pride 2015—June 6 beginning at 9 a.m. at Landreth Park. The Third Annual Cutest Pet Contest is among the many activities highlighted.




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JuneteenthThe cessation of slavery in the United States is observed on June 19th, or Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Although President Lincoln ended slavery Jan. 1, 1863, through the Emancipation Proclamation, it was not until 1865 that enforcement of the Proclamation was attained.

The observance of Juneteenth originated in 1865 with the arrival of Union soldiers to Texas, armed with General Order Number Three and the good news of freedom. A portion of the text from this official document, carried by Major General Gordon Granger to the shores of Galveston, reads, “All slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

 Juneteenth, considered by many to be America’s second Independence Day, offers the opportunity to come together to celebrate freedoms enjoyed by all Americans and to preserve liberties and rights due to every individual.

In Missouri, civil rights are afforded protection through the Missouri Human Rights Act, which precludes adverse treatment based on a protected category, such as race or color, in employment, places of public accommodation, or housing. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights is the state agency responsible for the enforcement of the Missouri Human Rights Act, primarily through the intake and investigation of 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 due to any category protected under the Missouri Human Rights Act, contact Missouri Commission on Human Rights at 877-781-4236 or take the quick assessment to determine if the Missouri Human Rights Act applies to your situation. 

Celebrate Juneteenth at these Missouri events:

St. Joseph

  • Enjoy the 21th anniversary of St. Joseph’s Juneteenth celebration June 12-14 at John Lucas Recreation Complex, 1805 Sylvanie Street. On June 12, there will be a talent show, baby contest and fashion show. June 13 festivities begin with a parade from Noyes Avenue down Sylvanie Avenue ending at John Lucas Park. Activities at the park include vendors, pony rides, drill team performances, jazz entertainers and a DJ. Enjoy a picnic 2 to 6 p.m. June 14 at the park. For more information, call 816-387-9598.
  • Catch the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival June 12-13 at Coleman Hawkins Park at 7th and Felix Streets. Nearly a dozen jazz ensembles come to St. Joseph from across the Midwest for this all-ages concert weekend. For further detail, call 816-271-8574.

Kansas City

  • Juneteenth festivities will be held on June 13 in the historic 18th and Vine District. Enjoy JUNETEENTHKC 2015: the Movement by pre-purchasing tickets, becoming a vendor or sponsor, participating in the talent show, or volunteering. For more information, visit the site or call (816) 472-0013.

Jefferson City

  • The Juneteenth Heritage Festival is June 14-20. This family-friendly celebration has activities for all ages. Events include the Juneteenth Father’s Day Banquet at 2 p.m. June 14 at the Lincoln University Student Center, 820 Chestnut Street; the Juneteenth Emancipation Program June 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lincoln University Soldiers Memorial Plaza and Memorial Hall, 820 Chestnut Street; and the Little Mister and Miss Juneteenth Pageant June 19 at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln University Student Center Ballroom, 820 Chestnut Street. The main event will be held June 20 starting at noon with exhibitors, vendors, games, food and music at Ellis Porter-Riverside Park, 320 Ellis Porter Drive. Entertainment on the Grande’ Stage includes Phaze 1, R&B Band of St. Louis, DJ Keith Porter, the Jay-Dah-Q Steppers and the “Juneteenth’s Got Talent” competition. For more information, call 573-893-4191 or email


  • Douglass Park, 400 North Providence Road, is the site of this year’s Juneteenth celebration on June 20. The activities begin at 3 p.m. and feature bands, choirs, speakers, games and food. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. For more information, call 573-874-7460.

St. Louis

  • Songwriters have a chance to showcase their original music in the genres of gospel, R&B, soul, rap, hip-hop, blues, and jazz at the African-American Music Appreciation Month’s Let Your Voice Be Heard songwriting contest preliminary rounds June 6 from noon to 3 p.m. at the St. Louis Public Library’s Schlafly Branch, 225 North Euclid Avenue. The second preliminary round is 1 to 3 p.m. June 13 at the Cabonne Branch, 1106 Union Boulevard, with the third preliminary round June 20 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Divoll Branch, 4234 North Grand Avenue. Finalists will compete from noon to 5 p.m. June 27 at the Schlafly Branch. Complete rules and guidelines are available at the St. Louis Public Library. 
  • St. Louis Public Library will celebrate Black Music Month with Alphonsus Rock Church’s Voices of Praise Choir on June 6 from 11 a.m. to noon at the Baden Branch Library, 8448 Church Road.
  • Extend your Juneteenth celebration by joining St. Louis residents June 20 for the 14th annual Riverfront Times Music Showcase taking place in the Grove area of Manchester Avenue. Visit online for the latest information about this event featuring ten venues and more than seventy local bands. 


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