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Friday, September 20, 2019

Texas AG files brief supporting states’ right to enact uniform minimum wage laws

By David Yates | Apr 25, 2019

AUSTIN – Leading a six-state coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the State of Alabama’s authority to require a uniform minimum wage across the state. 

Twenty-eight states, including Alabama and Texas, have laws preempting municipalities from enacting their own minimum wage ordinances.

The Alabama Legislature passed the Uniform Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act in 2016 after the city of Birmingham attempted to set its own local minimum wage ordinance. Several groups filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in connection with the state law. 

A U.S. District Court tossed the lawsuit in 2017. However, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed the ruling and then later withdrew its decision so the full court could rehear the case.

 “The broader issue in this case is that municipalities such as the city of Birmingham can’t be allowed to circumvent state law just because they disagree with the judgment of their state’s elected representatives,” Paxton said. “Our multi-state coalition is confident the 11th Circuit will side with Alabama and dismiss the lawsuit.”

Texas is joined on the friend-of-the-court brief by the attorneys general of Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana and Missouri.  

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