IFA Battles Seattle's Minimum Wage Law

 IFA Battles Seattle's Minimum Wage Law

The International Franchise Association is appealing Seattle's minimum wage law all the way to the Supreme Court. Last week, the organization filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, asking the United States Supreme Court to review the decision of the Ninth Circuit in the Seattle Case.

The association says the law's discriminatory provisions harm franchisees.

IFA and five Seattle franchisees sued the City of Seattle in June 2014, seeking to block portions of the city's law to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The plaintiffs asked the court to enjoin the city from treating franchisees as large, national companies rather than the small, locally-owned businesses that they are.

"The controlling Supreme Court precedent and the conflict among the decisions of the federal circuit courts have proven that a Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit's decision is the appropriate next step," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti. "Our appeal has never sought to prevent the City of Seattle's wage law from going into effect. 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."

The Employment Policies Institute issued a report two weeks ago showing that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will hurt franchise businesses disproportionately compared to non-franchise businesses. The survey found that 64 percent of franchise businesses would likely reduce hours compared to 46 percent of non-franchise businesses. The EPI survey concluded that there is no rationale behind treating franchise businesses differently than other small businesses. More than half of those surveyed, 65 percent of franchise businesses, said would likely need to reduce staff in response to a $15 minimum wage.

A response is due from the City of Seattle within 30 days and the Supreme Court is expected to announce in the Spring whether it will agree to hear the case.

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