What should businesses know about the proposed Louisville minimum wage increase?


The Metro Council’s proposed ordinance – mandating that employees raise wages to over $10 an hour – would significantly impact many local businesses. Although the Jefferson County Attorney has opined that the Metro Council may enact such an ordinance, the absence of any similar ordinance elsewhere in the state means that Kentucky courts have not yet weighed in on the issue.

However, because Kentucky law only grants cities power to adopt measures which do not conflict with a so-called statutory scheme, the issue becomes whether Kentucky’s comprehensive wage and hour statutes, applicable throughout the Commonwealth, preclude adoption of a higher local minimum wage scale. Similar measures in other states have been challenged on that basis, with mixed results, so the outcome is by no means certain. And Seattle’s recent adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage is currently facing a court challenge, as well.

Whatever the Metro Council ultimately chooses to do, it seems likely that courts will ultimately decide the issue.