On November 10, 2017, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce filed another lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis, this time challenging the Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance, set to take effect on January 1, 2018. In a press release, the Chamber noted that, “a patchwork of inconsistent local laws creates an administrative nightmare for employers, especially those with facilities in multiple locations.” Sound familiar? Recall earlier this year, the Chamber also sued the City of Minneapolis over its Sick & Safe Leave Ordinance under a similar theory. The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently affirmed part of the decision in that suit (against the Chamber), but notably, temporarily enjoined the City from enforcing that ordinance against businesses without a physical location in the City of Minneapolis.
As it stands, Minnesota State minimum wage is currently $9.50 per hour, and increases annually each year by inflation. Thus, effective January 1, 2018, Minnesota’s minimum wage will be $9.65 per hour. Minneapolis’ ordinance, on the other hand, requires a minimum wage of $10 per hour starting January 1, 2018 for large businesses (more than 100 employees). Starting July 1, 2018, Minneapolis requires $10.25 per hour minimum wage for small businesses, and $11.25 per hour for large business. By July 1, 2022, the Minneapolis Ordinance requires a $15 minimum wage for large business, and the same by July 1, 2014 for small businesses. Thereafter, the minimum wage increases by inflation January 1 of every year.
Until the Court rules otherwise, however, employers (even those with collective bargaining agreements) must follow the Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance if it is applicable to your business. If you are not sure whether the ordinance applies to your business (i.e. employers not located in Minneapolis but who have employees working in or passing through Minneapolis), I’d encourage you to seek counsel before the end of the year.