01:54 PM • 05/12/16
International Franchise Association Issues Statement In Response To Supreme Court Ruling in Seattle Minimum Wage Case
Organization vows to continue fighting what it believes to be unfair classification of franchisees as part of their larger franchisor structure
Yesterday on 1851 Franchise, we wrote about the Seattle minimum wage law challenge being rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. In response to that decision, the International Franchise Association (IFA) issued a statement expressing disappointment as it continues to advocate on behalf of the 600 local franchise business owners that employ 19,000 people across Seattle.
In the statement, the IFA claims that it and five Seattle franchisees sued the city of Seattle in June 2014, seeking to block portions of the city’s new law to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. At the heart of the IFA’s argument was the idea that the city of Seattle was treating franchises unfairly by automatically assuming they were part of their larger franchisor structure rather than the small, locally-owned businesses that they are.
Robert Cresanti, IFA president and CEO, had this to say in the IFA Statement. “Today’s decision from the Supreme Court is clearly a disappointment as our appeal has always focused solely on the discriminatory treatment of franchisees under Seattle’s wage law and the motivation to discriminate against interstate commerce,” said Cresanti. “Seattle’s ordinance is blatantly discriminatory and affirmatively harms Seattle hard-working franchise small business owners every day since it has gone into effect. We are simply attempting to level the playing field for the 600 local franchise business owners employing 19,000 people in Seattle.”
Seattle’s new law required large businesses (defined as those with more than 500 employees) to raise the minimum wage to $15 over three years beginning in April 2015. Smaller businesses will have seven years to phase in the wage increase.
To read the entire IFA Statement, click here.