WASHINGTON (May 11, 2016) — Small business interests, including the Tire Industry Association (TIA), have expressed disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal of the minimum wage law enacted in Seattle last year.
The high court dismissed the complaint May 2 from the International Franchise Association (IFA) and five franchise businesses. As is usual, the court did not comment on its reasons for rejecting the appeal.
The Seattle law, which went into effect in April 2015, requires all businesses in the city with more than 500 employees to pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2018. For smaller businesses, the deadline is 2021.
IFA President and CEO Robert Cresanti said the Seattle law purposely discriminates against small franchise businesses.
“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,” Mr. Cresanti said.
The Seattle law is especially damaging to franchise operations in Seattle, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“Because they are not seen as a small business, franchises have the same amount of time to comply with the minimum wage law as big businesses, despite having only a handful of employees,” the NFIB said.
TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield told Tire Business he was not surprised that the Supreme Court rejected the appeal, because there was no federal question of law involved. But TIA continues to oppose legislative efforts to raise the minimum wage, he said.
“It's such a burden on small business when city councils and state legislatures come up with well-intentioned bills that small businesses simply can't afford,” Mr. Littlefield added.