The International Franchise Association vowed Wednesday to keep fighting after a federal judge denied its request to temporarily block a part of Seattle’s minimum-wage law from taking effect April 1.
The International Franchise Association (IFA) vowed Wednesday to keep fighting after a federal judge denied its request to temporarily block part of Seattle’s minimum-wage law from taking effect April 1.
The Tuesday ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Jones means locally owned franchisees in Seattle are still on the same fast track as large employers toward reaching $15-an-hour pay for their workers by 2017 or 2018.
The franchisees are seeking to be classified with small businesses, which have longer to reach the $15 pay rate.
“Yesterday’s decision is clearly a disappointment, but it is not the end of this fight,” Steve Caldeira, association president and CEO said in a statement. “The ordinance is clearly discriminatory and would harm hardworking small-business owners who happen to be franchisees. Those who have set out to destroy the long-accepted, time-tested and proven franchise business model must be stopped.“
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The American Hotel & Lodging Association also issued a statement Wednesday saying it would continue to support the franchise association’s efforts to overturn the franchisee provision of the minimum-wage law.
“Yesterday’s decision to allow this unfair targeting of small businesses is part of a troubling pattern where the franchise model is under attack,” Katherine Lugar, the hotel association’s president and CEO, said in the statement. “Under this law, the mom-and-pop hotels that make up a vast majority of our industry are considered large employers simply because of their affiliation with national brands.”
Those who support the city’s grouping of local franchisees with large employers applauded the judge’s decision.
“It’s obvious to anyone who’s ever worked at a franchise outlet — or even just eaten at one — that these giant multibillion-dollar chains are highly standardized operations with resources that smaller independent operations do not have,” Sejal Parikh, executive director of Working Washington, said in a statement Tuesday. Working Washington is a coalition founded by the Service Employees International Union.