St. Louis City’s $10 per Hour Minimum Wage Law to Take Effect

Authored by Karen E. Milner, Christopher M. Sanders

Apr 26, 2017

St. Louis City’s minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour sometime soon and $11 per hour in 2018, now that the Missouri Supreme Court declined yesterday to reconsider its earlier ruling allowing St. Louis City to increase its minimum wage. The only remaining obstacle to the increased minimum wage is the Circuit Court’s 2015 injunction. It is expected that the injunction will be lifted in short order. 

With few exemptions, the law applies to employers operating in St. Louis City with more than fifteen employees and to each employee who works at least twenty hours per calendar year in the City.

While St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office commented that the decision is “a win for our City’s working families,” the Mayor has not provided any clarity on the implementation of the minimum wage. We anticipate an update in coming days as to how enforcement will commence. Business owners with employees in St. Louis City should begin to prepare to increase the pay rate for employees who are currently below the $10.00 per hour pay.  The penalties for non-compliance as set forth in the ordinance include: fines of $500 per violation; up to ninety days in jail and license suspension or revocation; and orders to pay restitution to underpaid employees in the form of back pay and interest.

We will keep you updated with any additional information that may be published by Mayor Krewson’s office.

The Background

In September 2015, then-Mayor Francis Slay and the Board of Alderman passed an ordinance that would have increased the minimum wage in St. Louis City to $10.00 per hour effective January 1, 2017, and $11.00 per hour effective January 1, 2018.

The statute was initially blocked by a Circuit Court judge in 2015, but the City appealed that decision to the Missouri Supreme Court.  The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the ordinance in a decision issued February 28, 2017.  However, opponents filed a request for rehearing with the Missouri Supreme Court on March 15, 2017. Yesterday, the Missouri Supreme Court refused the Motion for rehearing.

If you have any questions regarding the minimum wage or any other wage and hour matter, please contact Chris Sanders, Karen Milner, or any other member of our Wage and Hour Team.

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