The Supreme Court has refused to hear any appeal from those challenging the Seattle minimum wage increase ordinance.
Business groups recently attempted to challenge a Seattle law which raises the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, but the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the challenge. Therefore, the previous decision made by a lower court to maintain the ordinance will be left in place.
According to a report from Reuters, several franchise owners, along with the International Franchise Association, sued the city in 2014, stating that the minimum wage law, which requires large businesses to increase their pay to $15 per hour by 2018, applies unevenly to certain businesses.
The suit claims that franchises that are affiliated with national chains are experiencing harmful effects from this law, as they are required to comply with the same rates in the same timeframe as large businesses, while they should be treated as small local businesses, Reuters noted. Small, local businesses that are not affiliated with larger chains are allowed an additional four years to make the wage increase.
Franchisees argued that their businesses, while affiliated with national chains, are still small businesses with a limited number of employees, and they should also be granted the additional four years that other small businesses received.
Reuters reported that Seattle countered the argument stating that the ordinance is intended to benefit workers and reduce income inequality, not to harm franchise businesses, and the lower courts sided with the city. The court concluded that it is not unlawful to consider franchises as a part of their larger counterparts, making them more able to comply with the wage increase than smaller businesses.
The Supreme Court chose to uphold the ruling of the smaller court, denied any appeal from the challenger and made no comment, according to Reuters.