Minneapolis Passes Phased-In $15.00 Minimum Wage

As Minneapolis employers focused on initiating compliance with the city’s new sick leave ordinance, the Minneapolis City Council quietly approved yet another far-reaching regulation, namely the new $15.00 minimum wage for all workers within the city limits.

Minneapolis joins Seattle, San Francisco and Washington D.C. as cities that have passed similar measures.

New Wage To Be Phased In

Minneapolis’ $15 minimum wage will be phased in over 5 years for businesses with more than 100 workers, and over 7 years for businesses with fewer than 100 workers.

Here is how the phase-in will work:

Date Large Businesses

(100+ workers)

Small Businesses

(Fewer than 100 workers)

Jan. 1, 2018 $10 No increase
July 1, 2018 $11.25 $10.25
July 1, 2019 $12.25 $11
July 1, 2020 $13.25 $11.75
July 1, 2021 $14.25 $12.50
July 1, 2022 $15 $13.50
July 1, 2023 $15 indexed to inflation $14.50
July 1, 2024 $15 indexed to inflation $15

Employees will be entitled to the $15 minimum wage “for all time worked within the geographic boundaries of the city.” Non-Minneapolis-based employees are entitled to the $15 wage only if they perform at least 2 hours of work for the employer in any particular week.

The Minneapolis ordinance does not include an exception for tipped workers in the hospitality industry. Therefore, all workers in Minneapolis will be subject to the $15 minimum wage.

The City’s Department of Civil Rights will oversee enforcement of this new requirement. The ordinance also includes a private cause of action in state district court for violations of the ordinance, and attorneys’ fees are available for successful claimants.

Legal Challenges Still Pending

While there were no immediate challenges to the minimum wage ordinance, the question of whether the City has the authority to issue employment-type ordinances will be resolved by the State Court of Appeals as part of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit against the City. Oral arguments are scheduled for next week.

As part of the same case, the court will resolve whether the City can enforce its ordinance against employers who do not have physical operations in Minneapolis but who nevertheless employ people who work within the city limits.

Bottom Line

This measure has been pending for quite some time and the City has been resolute in insisting that nobody, not even tipped workers, should be left out.  Therefore, unless the court challenge is successful, Minneapolis employers should begin gearing up for a very different employment environment within the city limits.