The Associated Press and Reuters are reporting that the Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge from franchise owners who say Seattle's $15 minimum wage discriminates against them by treating them like large companies.
Seattle's minimum wage law requires locally owned franchises of big companies like McDonald's and Subway to raise employees' wages to $15 an hour sooner than small businesses. Franchise employees in Seattle are currently earning $12.50 or $13, depending on whether they receive medical benefits. The International Franchise Association argued the law discriminated against franchises and violated the Commerce Clause. They lost that argument last year in U.S. District Court and the 9th Circuit.
Today's decision means those lower court decisions will stand. That's good news for workers in Seattle and in cities across the country looking to follow our lead on $15.
I've requested comment from the IFA and will update if I hear back.
In a statement, the IFA "expressed disappointment" about the court's decision. IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti stuck to the IFA's story, saying “Seattle’s ordinance is blatantly discriminatory and affirmatively harms Seattle hard-working franchise small business owners every day since it has gone into effect." The group is "still reviewing the opinion to evaluate the next steps in the appeal."