After months of heated debate, Kansas City, Missouri’s City Council voted to incrementally increase the minimum wage in Kansas City, Missouri over time from the current state-mandated $7.65 per hour to $13.00 per hour in 2020. The first incremental increase takes effect on August 24, 2015, and increases the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour—an $0.85 per hour increase. The scheduled increases, as outlined by Ordinance 150217, by date are as follows: 

Date Effective

Minimum Wage



August 24, 2015


January 1, 2017


January 1, 2018


January 1, 2019


January 1, 2020



The minimum wage is then set to rise or fall each year after 2020 based upon the cost of living. 

This wage increase only applies to those employers with 15 or more employees. The definition of “employee” includes all employees who provide 20 or more hours of work in a calendar year. The definition has a few exclusions, including individuals age 17 and under. The ordinance, as passed, also includes a fine of up to $1,000 per person per day. 

Despite the City Council’s vote, Kansas City’s minimum wage is far from a settled issue. Businesses have threatened to take the issue to court. Some groups have warned that they will take the issue to the ballot box to seek an even higher minimum wage. The Missouri legislature could also step in to prevent Kansas City from increasing the minimum wage. 

In the meantime, employers with more than 15 employees should begin preparing for the possibility that the minimum wage will increase to $8.50 per hour beginning on August 24, 2015.



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