After more than a year, the opposition to St. Louis’ efforts to raise the minimum wage in the city went all the way to the state Supreme Court, which upheld the city’s minimum wage increase Tuesday.
Now, businesses in and around the city are scrambling to figure out whether to make immediate changes or wait to implement a higher wage for employees.
Ed Brock, owner of Johnnie Brock’s Dungeon, said that he already paid employees above minimum wage but that a jump to $10 this year and $11 next year would be a “devastating financial burden.”
Brock said the mandated higher increase would probably result in his hiring fewer people and giving more responsibilities to current employees.
Businesses don’t immediately need to raise wages to $10 an hour, St. Louis’ new minimum hourly rate for 2017. Mayor Francis Slay said in a statement that employers would be given a grace period to adjust to the new minimum rate. How long the grace period lasts was not specified, however, and a new phase-in schedule has not been established.
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch