UPDATED: Brent Baughman, attorney for the plaintiff’s–Packaging Unlimited, the Kentucky Retail Federation and the Kentucky Restaurant Association– announced Wednesday that he plans to appeal the Circuit Court ruling to the Kentucky Supreme Court within the next ten days.
Employers in Jefferson County employing minimum wage workers will be required to raise the base wage starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 1, after the Kentucky Court of Appeals refused to halt implementation of the new law.
Jefferson County Circuit Court issued a ruling Monday that Louisville Metro Government has the authority to raise the minimum wage within metro city limits incrementally to $9.00 an hour by July 1, 2017. The Louisville Metro Government City Council voted in December 2014 to raise the minimum wage, currently set at $7.25 to $7.75 on July 1, 2015, $8.25 on July 1, 2016 and finally $9.00 on July 1, 2017.
Packaging Unlimited, the Kentucky Retail Federation and the Kentucky Restaurant Association filed a civil suit earlier this year claiming the Metro Council did not have the authority to raise the minimum wage because it violates state law. Monday’s decision was appealed and on Tuesday, the Kentucky Court of Appeals denied a request for emergency relief ahead of the July 1 minimum wage increase in Louisville.
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has also had discussions to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour, but decided last week to table the discussion until the Jefferson Co. legal matter was resolved.
The Kentucky Chamber supports the current state minimum wage law that automatically indexes the wage to the federal minimum wage to ensure a consistent and competitive position with surrounding states and counties. Business owners continue to be concerned that the ordinance will lead to lost jobs and missed opportunities for business attraction in Jefferson County.