- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham fast food workers and civil rights groups on Thursday appealed the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging an Alabama law that blocked Birmingham’s plans to raise the minimum wage.

Birmingham had been poised to be the first Southern city to raise the minimum hourly wage after the city council approved an increase to $10.10. Before it was implemented, the Alabama Legislature last year swiftly passed a law requiring a uniform state minimum wage, effectively nullifying the planned increase.

“Politicians in Montgomery have tried to strip the working people of Birmingham of their vote and their voice, but we won’t give up the fight,” Scott Douglas, executive director of Greater Birmingham Ministries, said in a statement.

The Alabama Chapter of the NAACP, Greater Birmingham Ministries and others filed the lawsuit in April. The complaint alleged the law violated workers’ civil rights. It also claimed the law was “tainted with racial animus” since it was pushed by white suburban Republican legislators in the majority-white Alabama Legislature and disproportionately impacted black workers. The Legislative Black Caucus later joined the lawsuit arguing the state violated the voting rights of Birmingham residents.

Lawmakers who supported the state law said that they were worried about the impact on businesses and argued it was important for economic development that the state have a uniform minimum wage.

U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor dismissed the lawsuit in February, saying that plaintiffs had not proven their claims of discrimination or civil and voting rights violations.

Birmingham is Alabama’s largest city, with 212,237 residents whose per capita income was about $19,650 between 2009 and 2013, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide