As I briefly mentioned in my last post on the Minneapolis minimum wage increase, a Hennepin County District Court denied Graco Inc., the Chamber of Commerce, and two other business groups’ request for a temporary injunction. While the business groups dropped out of the lawsuit after the court denied the temporary injunction, Graco continued the suit, claiming the Minnesota state law mandating a lower minimum wage preempted the Minneapolis ordinance.
On February 27, 2018, the District Court ruled in favor of the City of Minneapolis, finding the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (MFLS) merely sets a floor not a ceiling regarding minimum wage regulation. As a result, the Court held: “The Minneapolis Minimum Wage Ordinance is not repugnant to, but in harmony with the MFLS [. . .] because they both [are] minimum wage law[s] aimed at protecting the health and well-being of workers.” The Minnesota District Court has joined the majority of courts, including Wisconsin, in rejecting preemption challenges to city ordinances mandating higher minimum wages.
Employers should make sure they are in compliance with all relevant city, state, and federal laws governing minimum wage. As a reminder, the second phase of the Minneapolis minimum wage increase goes in effect on July 1, 2018. At this time, small employers (100 or fewer employees) must pay employees a minimum wage of $10.25 per hour, while large employers (more than 100 employees) must pay $11.25 per hour.