Thousands of workers in St. Louis will likely see smaller paychecks starting Monday, when a new Missouri law took effect barring local government from enacting minimum wages different than the state minimum. Days later, the Republican-led Missouri Legislature passed a bill that requires a $7.70 per hour minimum wage statewide.
In St. Louis, an estimated 35,000 workers received a pay raise after the court ruling, with a raise to $11 an hour planned in 2018.
Now that the state has stepped in, workers face the prospect of losing out on the extra money - and employers are faced with the awkward decision of whether to cut workers' pay.
Supporters of the higher wage say it's virtually impossible to live on $7.70 an hour. Some area businesses plan to stick with the higher rate.
"People would be angry and then they wouldn't do a good job and they'd be resentful", said Harman Moseley, who owns a chain of four movie theaters, three of which were affected by the citywide wage increase.
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Workers are upset that after the city increased the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour, but state lawmakers rolled it back to the state minimum of 7.70 an hour.
In Kansas City, Mo., the state's second-largest city, voters approved a $10 per hour minimum wage in a referendum on August 8, but it only took effect last week.
Missouri is not the first state to experience a clash with municipalities regarding the minimum wage. The statewide minimum wage in Alabama and Iowa is $7.25 per hour, the US minimum. What is unique in St. Louis, however, is the fact the raises were allowed to go into effect before the state stepped in.
In Kansas City, the City Council on August 17 adopted a resolution encouraging employers to voluntarily comply with the wage adopted by voters on August 8.
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