Race-Based Minimum Wage Challenge Overturned on 14th Amendment Grounds

On July 25, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the Northern District of Alabama’s dismissal of a challenge to Alabama’s Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act (the “Act”) on the basis that the Alabama State Legislature may have violated the Fourteenth Amendment in enforcing the Act. In April 2015, the City of Birmingham – which is 72 percent African American and 30 percent below the poverty line – passed an ordinance to raise its minimum wage from $8.50 per hour to $10.10 per hour. The ordinance went into effect in February 2016. However, the very next day after the…

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