AG: Muni Minimum Wage Can’t Exceed State’s

The labor union (and allies) push for a $15 minimum wage in some Ohio cities has hit an obstacle.  Attorney General Mike DeWine issued an advisory opinion that cities may not set minimum wage levels in excess of the state minimum wage, pursuant to the state constitution.

In 1912, Ohio voters gave the Ohio legislature the authority to pass wage and hour laws statutorily.  In 2006, voters passed a ballot initiative that put Ohio wage and hour law into the state constitution, and put in place minimum wage increases.

In his opinion, the Attorney General essentially says that a municipal ordinance cannot trump the state constitution, even under home rule.

This matter will undoubtedly end up in the Supreme Court of Ohio some day.  Meanwhile, we are left with the irony that labor unions pushing the municipal minimum wage increases are the same ones that backed the statewide initiative that put the issue into the constitutional.

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