Judge denies request to stop wage hike in St. Louis, but legal c - KMOV.com

Judge denies request to stop wage hike in St. Louis, but legal challenge far from over

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

A legal challenge from a group of local businesses against a new ordinance that would boost the minimum wage in St. Louis to $11 by 2018 was denied by a judge Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday, the group asked a judge for a temporary restraining order to block the increase in minimum wage. Mayor Francis Slay and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved the hike on August 28 in a 16-8 vote. Judge Steven Ohmer denied the request for a retraining order.

The city ordinance includes a jump from $7.65 to $9 an hour by the start of next year and a gradual increase to $15 by January 2021.

Jane Duecker, the plaintiffs' attorney, said the city lacks the authority to raise the wage higher than the state-mandated $7.65 hourly wage.

"There are some business that say they just can't absorb a 17 percent increase between now and the first of the year, and then there are others that can't afford the full $11 by 2018," said Duecker. "That's a fact of life, especially when the country is not raising the minimum wage."

In the ruling, Ohmer said there is no immediate or irreparable harm to the group seeking the restraining order. The ordinance goes into effect in October.

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