FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 17, 2017
The City Council on Thursday approved a resolution encouraging local businesses to voluntarily comply with the minimum living wage adopted by Kansas City voters on Aug. 8.
“A living wage is the foundation for strong families and strong communities,” Third District Councilman Jermaine Reed said. “We are urging Kansas City businesses to show the rest of the country that the will of people should not be ignored and take this opportunity to pay their workers fairly.”
The City will lead the way on implementing this new standard, and already pays almost all full-time employees at least $14 per hour.
There are 21 seasonal and limited term contract employees who make more than the current state minimum wage, but slightly less than $10 per hour. Increasing those wages to $10 per hour will cost an estimated $6,500 annually.
“The City does its best to offer a competitive salary and benefits package in order to attract a talented workforce,” said City Manager Troy Schulte. “We will take action soon to pay the higher wage for those seasonal positions as well.”
Missouri law prevents any city from establishing a minimum wage that is higher than the state’s $7.70 per hour, so paying the higher wage would be a voluntary action by local businesses.
- The state minimum wage is $7.70 per hour. The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour since 2009.
- On Aug. 8, 2017, a majority of voters in Kansas City approved a minimum wage of $10 per hour beginning on Aug. 24, 2017, to be increased annually by $1.25 per hour, reaching $15 per hour in 2022.
- In March, the City Council approved an ordinance that would increase the minimum wage to $8.50 beginning Sept. 18, 2017.
- Missouri state law prevents any city from raising its local minimum wage above the state rate, which limits the City’s ability to implement a local minimum living wage ordinance.
- Many businesses are asking if they must pay the higher minimum wage between Aug. 24 and Aug. 28, due to recent actions at the state and local level. However, Missouri cities (except St. Louis) have been restricted from raising the minimum wage since 2015, so the four-day gap is not relevant.
- All but 11 full-time City employees currently earn at least $14 per hour.
For more information about the minimum wage resolution approved by the City Council, contact Councilman Reed at 816-513-6513.
Businesses with questions about implementation should contact City Communications Director Chris Hernandez at 816-513-3474.