ST. LOUIS, MO/March 5, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) In a monumental Missouri Supreme Court ruling this past week, the city of St. Louis will indeed be able to pursue a minimum wage hike effective next year. The city will now be able to raise its minimum wage to $11 by 2018, after the Supreme Court stated that the city acted within its charter authority when it approved the hike. This staggering decision will officially reverse a circuit court judge who struck down the increase in 2015, just hours before it was set to take effect. After this debacle, the city was subsequently sued by business groups that stated the ordinance did indeed conflict with state law that caps the minimum wage at $7.65.
Attorneys pushed for the business organizations argued that without a stat standard, there could be thousands of “minimum wages’ throughout the sate with no agreed upon standard, leading to widespread confusion and inconsistency. Lawyers on the side of the city contended the cost of living in St. Louis is substantially higher than other areas in the state, hence the need for the change. In a ruling this past Tuesday, all of the confusion was laid to rest when the court agreed the St. Louis increase didn’t conflict with the wage set by state law.
“Its purpose of protecting employees is served by setting a floor for minimum wages; nothing in the law suggest the state also wanted to protect employers by setting a maximum wage,” wrote Judge Laura Denvir Stith in the decision.
Other lawmakers also sought to prevent local increases in 2015, when they tacked on a minimum wage provision to a bill prohibiting municipal bans on plastic bags.
Various lawmakers released statements praising the court’s decision, which they claim now enables thousands to make a “real living wage” in the city of St. Louis today.