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Flagstaff's ballot challenge to minimum wage moves forward

Arizona's new higher minimum wage law continues to be a point of controversy, even among those who support raising the minimum wage. In Flagstaff, however, things are significantly more complicated, as the city recently voted to approve increasing the minimum wage on a more gradual schedule than the rest of the state. Furthermore, Flagstaff also chose to increase the minimum wage even more than the rest of the state, ultimately planning to reach $15.50 per hour in 2022.

Still, many parties in the city are not pleased with this new direction, and a ballot initiative to overturn many parts of the law looks as though it will be on the ticket in 2018. In fact, a judge recently dismissed an attempt to remove the initiative from the ballot on technical grounds.

According to the judge, the individual who brought the lawsuit to remove the initiative from the ballot did not have proper standing to do so. Under the current statutes, an individual person is restricted from bringing a lawsuit that seeks to compel the Secretary of State against placing an initiative on a ballot.

The judge did note that the statute was worded very narrowly, but because it does entirely remove an individual's ability to object to a ballot initiative, it remained valid.

If you believe you have grounds for a lawsuit involving wages, whether against a public entity or a private employer, it is always wise to consult with an experienced attorney beforehand. In many instances, such as this one, the success of a well-founded complaint depends on the correct execution of the technical details. With proper legal counsel, you can ensure that you do not miss an opportunity because of poor legal planning.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun, "Ballot challenge to Flagstaff $15 minimum wage to proceed," Corina Vanek, Aug. 21, 2017

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