Missouri Supreme Court reinstates St. Louis city wage

Yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court reinstated a St. Louis city law that will hike the city’s minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2018. Originally enacted in 2015, the lawRobert Ortbals had been invalidated by a trial judge hours before it was to become effective.

As originally passed, the city’s law provided for graduated increases to the minimum wage as follows:

October 15, 2015 - $8.25 per hour

• January 1, 2016 - $9 per hour

• January 1, 2017 - $10 per hour

• January 1, 2018 - $11 per hour

Because this phase-in period never occurred, it is somewhat unclear how the city will handle the increases. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mayor Francis Slay has indicated that his administration will work with businesses to determine a “reasonable grace period” for the new rate. The Court’s decision does not become final for at least 15 days, as the parties decide whether to pursue post-opinion motions. We will continue to monitor the city’s implementation guidance.

St. Louis.flickrCC.Joel
"$11? That's a lot of money!"

Missouri’s statewide minimum wage is currently $7.70 an hour and subject to annual adjustments based on increases or decreases in the cost of living. Beginning January 1, 2019, the city’s minimum wage will be increased annually to track the inflation rate.

Yesterday’s ruling comes on the heels of a decision in January in which the Court ordered Kansas City to place a proposed minimum-wage increase on the ballot for voters. That proposal is now on the August 8 ballot. If approved, Kansas City’s minimum wage would increase to $10 per hour on September 1, and would gradually increase to $15 per hour by 2022.

Image Credit: Photo of St. Louis from flickr, Creative Commons license, by Joel.

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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