After St. Louis Minimum Wage Ordinance Rises From the Dead, Legislature Moves to Strike It Back Down

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

March 8, 2017

A bill to preempt Missouri cities and towns from enacting local minimum wage ordinances is advancing quickly through the state legislature.

The bill was introduced March 1, the day after the Supreme Court of Missouri reinstated a minimum wage ordinance in St. Louis that had been invalidated by a lower court in 2015. It passed a House committee March 6 and is expected to arrive on the governor's desk soon, according to local media.

In the meantime, the city of St. Louis is preparing to enforce its minimum wage ordinance in the hopes that the state will not strike it down again.

The City must wait for the Supreme Court to issue a final mandate before it can set an implementation schedule and begin enforcing the ordinance. The lower court must then lift the injunction it placed on the ordinance. The entire process could take up to 30 days, but an exact timeline remains unclear, according to the city.

Should the ordinance survive the state's efforts to strike it down, covered employers in St. Louis would be required to pay a minimum wage of $10.00 per hour to nonexempt employees who perform at least 20 hours of work within a calendar year. The minimum wage would increase to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2018. On January 1, 2019, and every January 1 thereafter, the minimum wage would be adjusted for inflation.