High Court refuses to hear Seattle $15 minimum wage case

Handing a victory to advocates of a higher minimum wage, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a legal challenge to Seattle’s ordinance mandating a phased-in hourly pay┬áincrease to $15.

The High Court’s refusal to take on the case allows a lower-court ruling to prevail in favor of the new ordinance.

Plaintiffs led by the International Franchise Association (IFA) filed the case with a unique approach: Avoiding a head-on challenge to the hourly increase, attorneys argued the law discriminates against Seattle’s franchised businesses because they are components of multi-state business networks.

Under Seattle’s new minimum-wage law, companies employing more than 500 employees must fully implement the wage hike over a three-year period; firms employing less than 500 are allowed a seven-year time frame to apply the law.

“Seattle’s ordinance is blatantly discriminatory and affirmatively harms hard-working franchise small business owners every day since it has gone into effect,” said IFA president, Robert Cresanti.

Advocacy group Working Washington, which favored the ruling, celebrated:

“The big business lobby has thrown everything they got at Seattle workers, but they keep on losing, and the economy continues to boom.”


[Reuters] [franchise.org] [workingwa.org] [Photo courtesy namebrandpolitics.com]