Federal Court to Hear Birmingham Minimum Wage Case

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11th-circuit

A federal appeals court in Atlanta is scheduled to hear arguments Friday in a case over Birmingham’s attempt to increase the minimum wage in the city to $10.10 an hour.

The Birmingham City Council approved a phased-in plan to boost the minimum wage in 2015. Then in 2016, the Alabama Legislature passed a law that voided the increase by prohibiting cities from setting their own minimum wage.

Fast food workers and other low-wage employees, the NAACP and other groups contested the legislature’s action in court. They said lawmakers’ actions were racially motivated because the Alabama legislature overturned the actions of a predominately black city council. At issue is whether the legislature violated the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause.

Lawyers say it could be several months before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issues a ruling.