The 23% decrease comes after the city passed an ordinance in 2015 raising the minimum wage. In January 2018, the minimum pay rate would have increased once again to $11 an hour.
The city's minimum wage hike triggered a legal battle that went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. The city won, but its victory was short-lived.
The progressive measure pitted the Democrat-leaning city against a Republican governor and legislature. Earlier in the year, the Missouri General Assembly passed a law that prohibits cities from raising the minimum wage higher than the state's standard.
Lyda Krewson, Mayor of St. Louis, called the passage of the law a "setback for working families."
While Governor Eric Greitens was against raising the minimum wage, he did not sign the bill. The bill will go into effect next month regardless.
Greitens said raising minimum wage would "kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people's pockets."
The situation in St. Louis isn't unique. Alabama nixed Birmingham's minimum wage hike last year, and Ohio stopped Cleveland from boosting its rate in December.
Over a dozen other states have passed pre-emptive laws that prohibit cities from raising their minimum wage above state standards.
The minimum wage hike in Missouri was projected to give 35,000 workers a raise of about $2,400 per year.
Whether or not minimum wage hikes benefit workers and local economies is still being debated, but a wage hike is supported by the public. More than half of all registered U.S. voters support a $15 minimum wage, Pew says.
The Missouri Legislature has made other employment law changes this year. In late June, Governor Greitens signed into law a new bill that affects the state's discrimination law and claims related to whistleblower retaliation.
The new law puts a limit on the employees who would be covered under whistleblower protection, and also eliminates whistleblower claims against the state.
Changes were also made to the state's discrimination law: MHRA. Plaintiffs must now prove that discrimination was a motivating factor – not just a contributing cause – to the employer's action. This change puts the state in line with federal standards.
The new law will go into effect on August 28, 2017.
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