We're celebrating 10 Days of Membership! Today's Gift: $20 off your professional membership with promo 10DAYS20OFF
Training, policies and tools to help HR prevent and respond to harassment claims.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Develop your HR competencies and knowledge in-person in 12 U.S. cities or virtually.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
In a surprise development on Feb. 28, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a minimum wage hike by the city of St. Louis (Cooperative Home Care, Inc. v. City of St. Louis, Missouri).
On Aug. 28, 2015, St. Louis enacted a local ordinance providing for a four-tiered increase in the minimum wage for employees working within the boundaries of St. Louis.
Under the ordinance, the hourly minimum wage rate was to increase to $8.25 on Oct. 15, 2015, to $9 on Jan. 1, 2016, to $10 on Jan. 1, 2017, and to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018.
Shortly after the city passed the ordinance, however, a lower court invalidated it, finding it was impermissible for the citywide local minimum wage to require a higher minimum wage than the state requires by statute.
The Missouri Supreme Court reversed, noting the state statute's purpose, protecting employees, "is served by setting a floor for minimum wages; nothing in the law suggests the state also wanted to protect employers by setting a maximum minimum wage."
While a $10 minimum wage now applies in the city of St. Louis, the effective date when the city will start enforcing the change is unclear.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay issued a press release indicating: "[i]t is fair to give businesses a reasonable grace period to adjust to the new minimum wage rate. We will spend the coming week talking to local business leaders to prepare to implement the increase."
The ordinance applies to employees who work 20 hours or more in a "brick and mortar" facility within the borders of St. Louis.
Thorny questions, however, exist concerning employees who are primarily based outside the city, but come into St. Louis to provide services or sell goods. For example, are food truck employees covered by the ordinance and, if so, for what portion of their work day?
The St. Louis ordinance contains limited exclusions for small businesses (less than $500,000 in annual revenue) and certain other specified entities. Not-for-profits are generally covered, but sheltered workshops are excluded.
Businesses need to be aware that the ordinance contains enforcement "teeth," including monetary fines, potential jail time, and possible business license revocation for repeat violators.
Complicating matters further for employers in Missouri is a pending Kansas City ballot initiative that would put raising the minimum wage up to voters at the next election.
The impact of the Missouri Supreme Court's opinion in Cooperative Home Care, Inc. on the Kansas City ballot initiative is uncertain.
Now it is time for impacted employers to comply with an ordinance that is riddled with ambiguity. As the effective date for enforcement of the ordinance is being sorted out, affected businesses should immediately:
Harry W. Wellford Jr. is an attorney with Littler in St. Louis. © Littler. All rights reserved. Reposted with permission.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
HR Education in a City Near You
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies