Missouri Leave Laws

This post will guide you through employee leave laws for businesses and workers located in the state of Missouri.

Follow this guide to understand employers’ obligations for vacation time, paid time off (PTO), sick leave, parental leave, bereavement and more, along with state holidays observed in Missouri.

This page is intended for reference purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please see official government sources or consult a legal professional for actual legal advice.

No federal or state laws require Missouri employers to provide vacation time (paid or unpaid) for employees.

Are Use It or Lose It Polices Legal in Missouri?

Use It or Lose It policies are not covered by Missouri state law, thus employers are free to apply such a policy in their business.

Use It or Lose It leave policies mean that any leave not used at the end of the year is forfeited, and not carried over to the following year. Learn more about Use It or Lose It policies here.

PTO Payout Laws in Missouri

Employers in Missouri are not required to pay out unused PTO (such as vacation time) upon separation, whether an employee quits, is fired, retires, or leaves for any other reason.

Sick Leave in Missouri

Missouri does not have any state laws regarding sick leave.

Employers in Missouri must, however, comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which entitles eligible employees the right to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health conditions, or to care for spouses, children or parents with a serious health condition.

Missouri State Holidays

The following official state holidays are observed in Missouri:

January 1New Year’s Day
3rd Monday in JanuaryMartin Luther King, Jr Day
February 12Lincoln’s Birthday
3rd Monday in FebruaryWashington’s Birthday
May 8Truman Day
Last Monday in MayMemorial Day
June 19Juneteenth
July 4Independence Day
1st Monday in SeptemberLabor Day
2nd Monday in OctoberColumbus Day
November 11Veterans Day
4th Thursday in NovemberThanksgiving
December 25Christmas Day
Any holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed on the previous Friday, while any holidays that fall on a Sunday are observed on the following Monday.

There is no requirement to allow employees a paid or unpaid day off for state holidays, and employees required to work on state holidays are not legally entitled to extra compensation (such as higher pay or a compensatory day off), unless promised in their employment contract.

Maternity Leave in Missouri

Missouri state law does not mandate that employers provide maternity leave.

The FMLA does apply, however, entitling new mothers to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth of a new child, as well as the placement of a new adoption or foster.

Paternity Leave in Missouri

Paternity leave is not covered by Missouri state law either, but fathers have the same right to unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks for the birth of their child, or a new adoption or fostered child.

Bereavement Leave in Missouri

There is no legal requirement to provide bereavement leave in Missouri. Employers are free to decide whether to provide bereavement leave, and whether to pay employees for this leave.

Other Leave Types

Jury Duty Leave

Employers do not have to provide paid time off for jury duty, however they must allow employees to serve their jury duty without any threats, coercion or punishment.

Voting Leave

Employees in Missouri are entitled to up to three hours of paid time off to vote, unless they have three consecutive hours outside working hours when the polls are open.

Military Leave

Federal Law (the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)) applies in Missouri, which states that military service members receive up to five years of unpaid leave for military service, and upon returning, must be reinstated to the same position (or an equivalent position) as they had before their leave.

Anything not covered in Missouri state leave laws is up to the discretion of the employer, such as whether or not to provide paid sick leave or PTO, or whether PTO rolls over from year to year.

However, if any benefits are laid out in an employee’s contract or company policy, employers must comply with what has been agreed in that document.

For example, if an employee’s contract states that they are to receive 12 days of PTO each year, the employer is legally required to provide this, even though paid time off is not required by state law.

Official Resources