The International Franchise Association is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review part of Seattle’s $15 minimum-wage law, saying it discriminates against franchise owners.
The International Franchise Association has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in its continuing fight against a part of Seattle’s $15 minimum-wage law the association says discriminates against franchise owners.
The association said Monday it has asked the Supreme Court to review the case, after losing an appeal before a federal appeals- court panel last fall.
The group filed a lawsuit in 2014 against the city to block a provision in the minimum-wage ordinance that treats franchise owners the same as national companies, instead of as small, locally owned companies. The law requires enterprises with more than 500 employees to scale up to $15 per hour faster than companies with fewer than 500 workers.
“Our appeal has never sought to prevent the city of Seattle’s wage law from going into effect,” said Robert Cresanti, the franchise group’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “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.”
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Franchise owners have argued they operate like small businesses and don’t have the profit margins to absorb higher staff costs. So far, the courts have not bought that argument.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in September agreed with a U.S. District Court ruling that there was not enough proof the city intended to discriminate against franchise owners or that the law would cause franchisees to close or reduce operations.
The city has 30 days to respond to the petition, and the Supreme Court is expected to decide by spring if it will hear the case.