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IFA to File Lawsuit Against Unfair and Discriminatory Seattle Minimum Wage Plan

Matthew Haller, IFA, 202-460-8356
Jenna Weisbord,IFA. 202-662-0766
Ashley Bach, Pacific Public Affairs, 206-579-2414


WASHINGTON, June 2-The International Franchise Association President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, released the statement below following the passage of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the Seattle City Council’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.    


“The Seattle City Council and Mayor Murray’s plan would force the 600 franchisees in Seattle, which own 1,700 franchise locations employing 19,000 workers, to adopt the full $15 minimum wage in 3 years, while most other small business owners would have seven years to adopt the $15 wage. These hundreds of franchise small business owners are being punished simply because they chose to operate as franchisees. Decades of legal precedent have held that franchise businesses are independently-owned businesses and are not operated by the brand’s corporate headquarters. 


“The City Council’s action today is unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise business owners. By picking winners and losers among Seattle businesses, this policy flies in the face of all legal precedent and defies common sense. 


“IFA has no choice but to file a legal challenge against the city of Seattle for this action. The suit will seek  to overturn the unfair and discriminatory minimum wage plan that was approved by the City Council. IFA will fight  to preserve the tenets of the franchise model, which has helped hundreds of thousands of people enjoy business ownership and created economic opportunity for many.” 



About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.