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Alabama fast-food workers challenge federal minimum wage ruling

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Attorneys for fast-food workers and civil rights organizations urged a federal appeals court Friday to reconsider a lawsuit challenging a state law that prevents raising minimum wage.

The 2016 law blocked cities from raising minimum wage from the federal $7.25 an hour to $10.10. Some lawmakers argued it would stall economic development. Fast-food workers and civil rights organizations in Birmingham sued, saying the law was racially discriminatory. The lawsuit said it took power away from majority-black Birmingham voters to the majority-white state electorate.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2017 because he ruled the law couldn’t be linked with race. The plaintiffs appealed the case in Montgomery’s federal court.

Alabama is one of five states without a state minimum wage law. Birmingham’s workers protested to raise wages in 2015.

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