St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signs $15 minimum wage ordinance into law

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signed a citywide $15 minimum wage ordinance into law. 

The signing followed a unanimous vote from the St. Paul City Council to adopt the ordinance. The City of St. Paul Minimum Wage Ordinance sets the minimum wage at $15 per hour, indexed to inflation. The phase-in period will begin in 2020. The phase-in period length for employers will be dependent on business size, as determined by numbers of employees.

“(This) vote is the culmination of years of incredible leadership from Council Members, workers, business leaders and advocates, all working together to provide a much-needed raise to over 56,000 St. Paul workers,” said Carter. “I couldn't be more honored to sign this ordinance into law.”

In the summer of 2018, the City held four minimum wage public input and discussion sessions. These sessions engaged more than 300 St. Paul business owners, workers, and residents and collected community input regarding a citywide minimum wage increase. The Mayor’s Office also convened two roundtable conversations with tip-credit and anti-tip penalty advocates and groups.

“Over the past year, we have worked in partnership with folks who live and work across St. Paul,” said St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen. “The community-driven process has resulted in a policy that is the right choice for our city. Together we move St. Paul forward by increasing the minimum wage.”

To support the development of St. Paul’s $15 minimum wage ordinance, the Citizens League conducted a two-phase process that resulted in a set of recommendations to the City. This process started in the fall of 2017 and was completed in August 2018.

“We are impacting people’s lives in the truest sense – we are putting into law a true living wage ordinance – ensuring all people in our community can work with dignity and make a fair and livable wage,” said Councilmember Chris Tolbert. “It’s taken a lot of work, conversations and engagement to get here, and this will have a positive outcome for the people in our community.”

The City of St. Paul and macro businesses will lead the citywide phase-in with its own employees starting on Jan. 1, 2020 and reaching a $15 minimum wage starting July 1, 2022. The $15 minimum wage ordinance does not contain an adjustment for tipped employees.

In 2019, the City of St. Paul will commence its implementation activities as it prepares to support the 2020 phase-in period.

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