Letter to Mayor Francis Slay regarding St. Louis City minimum wage ordinance

July 10, 2015

The Honorable Francis G. Slay
1200 Market, City Hall, Room 200
St. Louis, MO 63103

Dear Mayor Slay:

The undersigned organizations wish to express our view that the City of St. Louis lacks the legal authority to establish any minimum wage for private sector employers.

State law clearly occupies this field and sets the minimum wage for private employers on a statewide basis. Any adjustment to that wage must be through amendment of state statute.

There has been some discussion of a phrase in HB 722, which was vetoed today, authorizing cities to adopt a minimum wage if they did so before August 28, 2015. Even though this bill was vetoed today, we disagree with this interpretation of the language in the bill. While the bill would have enacted a new prohibition against local enactment of certain laws, minimum wage has already been set by statute and no local government, including a charter city, has any authority to enact a minimum wage for their locality.

We encourage you to honor existing state law and use your influence with the Board of Aldermen to avoid a costly challenge of current law. Failing that, we would welcome your disapproval of any minimum wage ordinance as authorized by Article IV, Section 17, of the Charter of St. Louis.

Sincerely,

American Hotel and Lodging Association

Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Associated Industries of Missouri

Mid-America Grocers Association

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Missouri Grocers Association

Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association

Missouri Restaurant Association

Missouri Retailers Association

Missouri Tire Industry Association

International Franchise Association

National Federation of Independent Business

National Restaurant Association