The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage from franchise owners who say the law discriminates against them by treating them as large businesses.
Seattle was one of the first cities in the nation to adopt a law aiming for a $15 minimum wage, giving small businesses employing fewer than 500 people seven years to phase it in. Large employers must do so over three or four years, depending on whether they offer health insurance to their employees.
Five franchises and the International Franchise Association sued the city, saying the law treats Seattle’s 623 franchises like large businesses because they are part of multistate networks. But the franchises say they are small businesses and should have more time to phase in the higher wage.
The justices did not comment on their order Monday that leaves in place a federal court ruling in favor of Seattle.
The decision comes as several other cities and a group of states, including California and New York, have started to phase in a $15 minimum wage in recent months. But each municipality and state takes a slightly different approach. San Francisco changed its minimum wage around the same time Seattle did.