Missouri is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy provides otherwise.
In keeping with a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, Missouri courts have held that there is no "handbook exception" to the at-will employment rule. Courts in Missouri have stated that employee handbooks are generally not considered contracts because they lack the traditional prerequisites of a contract.
For example, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to uphold an employee's contract claim that was based on general and discretionary policy statements contained in an employee handbook (Johnson v. McDonnell Douglas Corp.,