On March 17, 2015, Judge Jones issued an opinion in IFA v. City of Seattle, denying the IFA and franchisee plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction. The IFA had asked the Court to enjoin the City of Seattle from implementing its $15 minimum wage increase in a discriminatory manner, requiring small businesses who are a part of a franchise system to implement the wage increases more quickly than other businesses.
The Seattle $15 minimum wage ordinance is scheduled to become effective on April 1st. Under the new ordinance, franchisees are required to raise wages at the same rate as large employers, which is defined as businesses with more than 500 employees. Franchisees that are part of a national brand that has more than 500 workers nationwide are considered large employers, regardless of the number of employees the franchisees actually employ.
Beginning April 1 the first phase of the wage increases becomes effective, and franchisees in the City of Seattle will be required to pay their employees $11 per hour whereas their local competitors will be required to pay $10 per hour.
The IFA, which is not seeking to repeal the minimum wage law in its entirety, but simply to remove the offending definition of large employers that include franchisees as a violation of the commerce clause, has vowed to continue the fight.
You can read more at the IFA’s press release here: http://www.franchise.org/ifa-vows-to-keep-fighting-to-halt-seattles-discrimination-against-local-franchise-businesses