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Kentucky Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisville Minimum Wage Law; Lexington Law Also Affected

October 24, 2016

The Kentucky Supreme Court has held that local governments in Kentucky lack the authority to establish their own minimum wage rates, The Court struck down a Louisville ordinance that required employers within the city to pay a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour as of July 2016 — $1.00 per hour more than the minimum wage established under Kentucky law.

Noting Kentucky’s strong "affection for local government," the Court nonetheless determined the ordinance directly conflicted with the Kentucky minimum wage statute and was unenforceable. Although not stated in the opinion, the Court’s ruling also invalidated a 2015 ordinance passed by the Urban County Council in Lexington increasing that city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over a three-year period.