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MN Chamber Of Commerce Sues Minneapolis Over $15 Wage

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) -- Minneapolis has been sued by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce over its ordinance to raise the minimum wage.

Following years of debate, the Minneapolis City Council voted in June to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The increase will apply to most employees in the city, even those who earn tips. Companies were given five to seven years to phase in that pay hike.

The chamber of commerce argues in the suit filed in Hennepin County District Court Friday that the ordinance is in conflict with existing state laws.

Doug Loon, president of the chamber of commerce, said that the ordinance would create "a patchwork of local laws" that would become a burden on employers.

"Employers know what they have to pay to compete for a talented workforce and to deliver goods and services at a competitive price," Loon said. "Businesses will spend more time understanding and complying with laws and less time innovating, growing and hiring new employees."

The suit seeks to have the court put a stop to Minneapolis enforcing the ordinance.

City Attorney Susan Segal says the city will defend against the claims, which are similar to the chamber's challenge to Minneapolis' sick time ordinance. In that case, the courts found the city could impose that ordinance on businesses within Minneapolis. The chamber is appealing.

Minnesota's minimum wage is $9.50 per hour and will go up to $9.65 on Jan. 1. Minneapolis' ordinance raises the minimum wage within the city to $10 per hour starting Jan. 1.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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