On August 28, 2015, the city of St. Louis passed a law to raise its minimum wage. The minimum wage increase will start at $8.25 per hour and will increase to $11.00 per hour by 2018. Beginning on January 1, 2019, the minimum wage will increase annually on January 1 of each year on a percentage basis to reflect the rate of inflation.
The scheduled increases to the minimum wage are as follows:
Effective Date Amount per Hour
October 15, 2015 $8.25
January 1, 2016 $9.00
January 1, 2017 $10.00
January 1, 2018 $11.00
The ordinance applies to employers that maintain a business facility or operate within the city with more than 15 employees. The ordinance applies to all employees who work at least 20 hours within the calendar year while physically present within the geographic boundaries of the city. This includes all employees who work part-time, full-time, or on a temporary basis. It also includes contingent and contracted workers, individuals working through temporary services, and those employed through staffing or employment agencies.
There are, however, a number of exemptions for employers or employees that fall into any of the following classifications:
- Governmental entities, except for the City of St. Louis
- Employers whose annual gross revenues made or business done is less than $500,000
- Employers whose business has been in operation for less than one year whose annual gross revenues made or business done is reasonably projected to be less than $500,000
- Employers that have employed no more than 15 people during each calendar week within the current calendar year and the previous calendar year
- Employees who work less than 20 hours in St. Louis in a calendar year
- Individuals involved in educational, charitable, or nonprofit organizations where the employer-employee relationship does not exist or the services are voluntary
- Individuals standing in loco parentis to foster children in their care
- Individuals employed for less than four months of the year in a resident or day camp for youth
- Individuals employed by an educational conference center operated by an educational, charitable, or not-for-profit organization
- Casually hired babysitters
- Any individual who is an offender, who is incarcerated in any correctional facility, including offenders who provide labor or services on the grounds
- Certain students participating in bona fide work-study programs
Posting and Paycheck Stuffer Requirements
According to the law, by October 15, 2015,
[e]very Employer shall post in a conspicuous place at each facility where any Employee works that is located within the geographic boundaries of the City a notice advising the Employee of the current minimum wage and of the Employee’s rights under this ordinance. Employers that do not maintain a business facility within the geographic boundaries of the City and households that serve as worksites for domestic workers are exempt from this paragraph.
Such notice shall include the text of sections 2, 3, and 5 of the ordinance.
Every employer must also provide, with the first paycheck subject to the ordinance (i.e., on or after October 15, 2015), a notice advising the employee of the current minimum wage (i.e., $8.25) and his or her rights under the new ordinance, and a copy of sections 2, 3 and 5 of the ordinance. This notice must be given to all employees who perform at least 20 hours of work in the city within the calendar year even if the employer does not maintain a business facility within the geographic boundaries of the city.
The city has not prepared suggested notices designed to comply with the posting and paycheck stuffer requirements.
Current Challenge to Ordinance
An alliance of businesses and companies has filed a lawsuit in the St. Louis Circuit Court seeking an injunction to prevent the city of St. Louis from increasing its minimum wage. In the lawsuit, which is pending before Judge Ohmer, it is alleged that raising the minimum wage in the city conflicts with the Missouri Constitution and would cause “immediate and irreparable harm” to employers by requiring that they comply with different rules in different municipalities. Hearings commenced in September and are scheduled to continue in October. The court has represented that a decision will be forthcoming prior to the October 15, 2015 effective date.