Home » IFA To Challenge Seattle’s $15 Wage For Franchisees

IFA To Challenge Seattle’s $15 Wage For Franchisees

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Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:09 pm

The International Franchise Association (IFA) wants to challenge a Seattle law raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In June 2014, the Seattle City Council approved a $15 minimum wage, which is structured to rise in increments. Companies with at least 500 workers must have the $15 minimum wage in place by 2017, while other businesses have until 2021 to raise the minimum wage for their workers to $15.
The association, along with five Seattle franchisees, filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing that the higher wage is unfair for franchisees, which are essentially smaller businesses.

“Our appeal has never sought to prevent the city of Seattle’s wage law from going into effect,” said IFA President Robert Cresanti. “Our appeal to the Supreme Court will be focused solely on the discriminatory treatment of franchisees under Seattle’s wage law and the motivation to discriminate against interstate commerce.”

Last March, a federal judge tossed the franchise’s lawsuit, with that decision upheld by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in September. The association expects a response from Seattle within the month, while the Supreme Court will make a decision this spring on whether it will hear the case.

The Employment Policies Institute issued a report showing that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will hurt franchise businesses disproportionately compared to non-franchise businesses. The report says that 64 percent of franchise businesses would likely reduce hours compared to 46 percent of non-franchise businesses. More than half of those surveyed, 65 percent of franchise businesses, said they would likely need to reduce staff in response to a $15 minimum wage.

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