A federal appeals court is being asked to toss a lawsuit that had accused Alabama lawmakers of racially discrimination due to a law that blocked the majority-black city of Birmingham from raising its minimum wage. At issue in arguments scheduled Tuesday before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a 2016 statute requiring every city in Alabama to have the same minimum wage. Lawmakers passed the law after Birmingham's city council voted to increase the city's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. The state law effectively nullified the planned increase.
Fast food workers and civil rights groups accused the Legislature of racial discrimination, arguing that the state law targeted a mostly African American city and would disproportionately impact black workers. State officials say the law is race neutral.