Bill Blocking St. Louis Minimum Hourly Wage Increase Goes to Governor

Missouri lawmakers recently sent a bill blocking local minimum wages to the governor. If passed, the bill could undo the recent $10/hour minimum wage increase in the city of St. Louis.

About the Minimum Wage Increase

Beginning Friday, May 5, 2017, St. Louis city businesses are required to implement a new minimum wage of $10.00 per hour.  A recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling reinstates an ordinance to raise the minimum wage in the city of St. Louis from $7.70 per hour to $10.00 per hour in 2017 and $11.00 per hour in 2018.

The Missouri Retailers Association, Missouri Restaurant Association and other local organizations sued to block the original increase, stopping the law from passing in 2015. The groups argued that different minimum wage levels in different parts of the state would make Missouri and St. Louis city less attractive for business growth and job creation. The $10.00 per hour minimum wage will be enforced in the city this year, climbing to $11.00 on January 1, 2018.

Exemptions from the New Minimum Wage

While many businesses in St. Louis city will be impacted by the minimum wage increase, there are several exemptions to this change.  For example, a business whose annual gross revenue is less than $500,000, or if the business has been in operation for less than a year and whose annual gross revenue is reasonably projected to be less than $500,000, is exempt from the new wage. Also, certain types of employers (such as sheltered workshops and government agencies other than the city of St. Louis) are exempt as well.

Enforcing the New Minimum Wage

The city will be mailing notices to employers and expects voluntary compliance with the new law. Employers who don’t comply will be subject to prosecution in Municipal Court and risk losing business or occupancy permits.

If you have questions on how your business and minimum wage workers may be affected, the city has established a direct contact resource at minimumwage@stlouis-mo.gov.  Anders will cover any developing updates.  For more information on how to plan for and budget for these changes, please contact an Anders advisor.