Almost two years after the passage of an ordinance by the City of St. Louis, a new minimum wage of $10 an hour is now in effect as of May 5th after the St. Louis Circuit Court lifted its injunction.
The City of St. Louis passed a minimum wage increase in 2015; however, the ordinance was stopped from going into effect by a circuit court injunction. Business groups took legal action due to concern for regulatory confusion created by enacting a higher rate than the state, which is set at $7.70. The St. Louis Circuit Court agreed with the business groups, but the Missouri Supreme Court rejected the argument and ruled in favor of the City on February 28th. On April 25th, the Supreme Court declined to reconsider the order, effectively ending the matter. The new wage is now effect and will rise again to $11 beginning on January 1, 2018.
The new minimum wage will not apply to businesses that gross under $500,000 per year or employ fewer than 15 workers. It will also not apply to employees who work less than 20 hours per calendar year. This City is expecting “voluntary compliance from employers,” although there is a complaint process employees may utilize if they are not receiving the new wage.
While the St. Louis Regional Chamber is in favor of discussing a statewide or national minimum wage increase, our position on a City-only increase remains unchanged. We are concerned the new law could negatively impact workers, further fragment local government, and weaken the City of St. Louis. The wage increase is effectively a fee on employers in the City that will spawn unintended consequences on workers through job eliminations and increased retail prices.
If you need information regarding exemptions, notice requirements, complaints, and other details, visit https://www.stlouis-mo.gov/minimum-wage/. The City’s website has a list of frequently asked questions.
If you have any additional questions about how the new minimum wage will affect your business, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call the Citizen’s Service Bureau at (314) 589-6735, or send a tweet to @stlcsb.