St. Louis Minimum Wage Rollercoaster

St. Louis passed an ordinance in 2015 that raised the minimum wage in the city’s limits with automatic increases in the following years. Before it could take effect, however, it was blocked by a lawsuit that made its way to the Supreme Court of Missouri. The Court upheld the ordinance and the minimum wage in St. Louis jumped to $10 per hour on May 5, 2017. That two year climb toward a higher minimum wage was quickly followed by a speedy drop.

Several days later, the Missouri legislature passed a bill that prohibited Missouri cities from establishing minimum wages higher than the state minimum wage. The bill also preempted and nullified all municipal minimum wage laws currently in effect. Missouri Governor Eric Grietens recently announced he would take no action on the bill, which under Missouri law results in it becoming law.

The Missouri law takes effect on August 28, 2017. On that date, the St. Louis ordinance will be void and the minimum wage in the City will return to $7.70. Employers may reduce wages to take advantage of the changing law, but should give impacted employees at least 30 days’ written notice before doing so, according to Ogletree Deakins lawyers Rob Stewart and J.T. Charron.

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