On May 4 in a St. Louis circuit court, Judge Steven Ohmer lifted the injunction on a city ordinance allowing St. Louis City to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour. The increase goes into effect on May 5.
“This move will raise labor costs up to 25 percent for some St. Louis City employers,” said Missouri Chamber president and CEO Dan Mehan. “In the short run, it will require businesses to scramble to comply with the new law. In the long run, it will cost jobs and set an already struggling St. Louis City economy even further behind.”
Under the ordinance, employers paying minimum wage in St. Louis City are required to increase that rate to $10 or face fines and jail time. The rate is scheduled to increase to $11 an hour on January 1, 2018.
The Missouri General Assembly could pass legislation to address this problem. Working with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rep. Dan Shaul and Rep. Jason Chipman filed House Bill 1193 and House Bill 1194, which would preempt and nullify all local laws establishing minimum wage rates higher than Missouri’s state minimum wage. House Bill 1194/HB 1193 was approved by the full House in early March. The bill was approved by a Senate committee but awaits full Senate debate.