Despite restaurants closing, supporters of Seattle's higher minimum wage hail judge's ruling

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KOMO: Supporters of higher pay for minimum wage workers hailed a federal judge’s decision clearing the way for Seattle’s new minimum wage law to take effect as planned next month.
U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones rejected claims by franchises of big national chains that the law discriminates against them.
“Although plaintiffs assert that they will suffer competitive injury, loss of customers, loss of goodwill, and the risk of going out of business, the court finds that these allegations are conclusory and unsupported by the facts in the record,” Jones wrote Tuesday night, dismissing arguments brought forth by the International Franchise Association, which represents national chains ranging from fast food joints to hotels.

You get what you vote for: Seattle mayor Ed Murray

You get what you vote for: Seattle mayor Ed Murray

“This is a great day for Seattle’s fast food franchise workers,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement. “This ruling ensures that on April 1st, the minimum wage will go up for everyone in our city.”
The president and CEO of the International Franchise Association said the group would continue to fight the parts of Seattle’s new wage law that apply to franchises.
“Yesterday’s decision is clearly a disappointment but it is not the end of this fight,” said Steve Caldeira, the association’s president and CEO, in a statement. “The ordinance is clearly discriminatory and would harm hardworking small business owners who happen to be franchisees.” He said the group would continue it legal efforts.
Lawyers for the franchise association, including Paul Clement, the former U.S. solicitor general, have insisted that they were not challenging the minimum wage itself. Instead, they were challenging how quickly their clients must adopt it.
The law, which will eventually raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, is phased in more quickly for big companies than small ones. Among those determined to be big companies under the law are franchises that are connected to networks that have a total of more than 500 workers.
On April 1, the large businesses and national chains must raise their pay to at least $11 an hour. Smaller ones must pay at least $10 an hour. Seattle’s current minimum wage is $9.47, the same as the Washington state minimum wage.
In arguments before the judge last week, Clement said the franchises are essentially small businesses, but by 2017 they’ll have to pay their workers a minimum wage $4 an hour higher than their purely local competitors.
The franchises cited various legal grounds, including the argument that the city’s law would affect interstate commerce – in violation of the U.S. Constitution, which reserves its regulation to the federal government.
Jones dismissed that notion and ruled that the possible harm to the franchises “does not outweigh the concrete harm” that would be suffered by employees who are entitled to an increase in their wages under the law.
The judge said there was simply “no evidence” that the city’s ordinance would have any effect at all on interstate commerce, and that its adoption fell well within the purview of the City Council and the mayor.
The city argued that the advantages franchises receive from their national organizations – including marketing, advertising and training – provided legitimate reason to require them to adopt the $15 wage more quickly.
The franchises sought a preliminary injunction that would block the relevant part of the law from taking effect, pending a ruling from Jones expected later this year on the full merits of the case.
Seattle’s law gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally three years to phase in the increase – four if they provide health insurance. Smaller employers get seven years.
May I suggest the good judge read this: More Seattle restaurants close doors as $15 minimum wage approaches.

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0 responses to “Despite restaurants closing, supporters of Seattle's higher minimum wage hail judge's ruling

  1. What, $7 Big Mac? (Sure, it’s a great day for Seattle’s fast food franchise workers… if they still have jobs or hours to work.)

  2. Thank you for this great article, DCG.
    Due to business I had to attend an event the other night that looked like a Peter, Paul and Mary revival. We were surrounded by old hippies who had stayed in academia and risen to high levels in the social services field.
    It soon became obvious that this group could not be moved from their position by anything, including a total economic collapse. The Obama crowd cannot be fixed. Their eyes cannot see and their ears cannot hear.

  3. Next month? Puts a whole new slant on April Fool’s now doesn’t it?

  4. This whole thing illustrates the liberal mindset perfectly, and why it is utterly futile to try to reason with such people. The two questions that lefties never ask in contemplating or implementing their silly policies are “At whose expense?”, and “What happens next?”
    Because liberals have no idea in the real world how and why businesses are run, or how and why jobs are created, they think they can simply wish money into existence by the sheer power of their good intentions (ah yes, those paving stones of good intentions….), but someone has to pay for wage hikes. Additionally, if a worker must be paid X amount of dollars per hour, that worker must provide at least that value of labor to the employer in return, or the job, and the business, will fail.
    But that illustrates another facet of the liberal mind, which is that they live in a fantasy land where wishes are fishes — given a choice between a real, tangible, existing, get-your-butt-out-of-bed-and-go-to-work job that pays $12 per hour, or an imaginary, nonexistent, boohoo-it’s-only-fairjob that pays $15 per hour, the lefties immediately and smugly demand the $15 per hour job. Then they are shocked — shocked! — when the job doesn’t exist.
    It’s a fact of life that fast food jobs, and other lower wage positions, provide employment to people who do not have the skills, experience, or knowledge to be worthy of higher pay — this is not a bad thing!! And where the libs cry “Waaaaaah! You should pay more!”, the real world responds by saying “You should improve yourself to be worthy of a better job and higher pay”.

  5. When I was a little girl back in the 1950’s, my parents never took us kids out to a restaurant; “occasionally” on a Friday night (being Daddy’s payday) he would go get Chinese food at The Wishing Well to bring home. That was really some treat! I foresee, at least for myself, that if these $15.00 an hour wages for marginal people with low skill sets becomes the norm–then I will revert to the way of my parents. I will start cooking all meals at home. I am not personally acquainted with very many people who have wages that have upwardly spiraled, and in order to offset increased costs–many of us will have to forgo the “luxury” of the $7.00 hamburger, or the $14.00 cost of a plate of mediocre Chinese food. That is not intended as a threat, that’s just the reality of this situation. I feel a great sorrow for all those in Seattle who are going to be profoundly harmed by the stupidity of new minimum wage law. Let’s just hope that other areas of the country will duly note the dire consequences of this stupidity!

  6. I’m still pondering the primary motivation for the “burger-flippers” to demand MORE MONEY for jobs that have NEVER been intended to be “career” jobs. Do they not understand that when they can no longer live on the wage the job pays,that’s a sign that they need to move out and find better paying jobs? Why do they think they GOT those jobs to begin with? It’s certainly NOT because they’re such desirable jobs,and they were just “lucky” enough to be there to snap ’em up when they came available. The jobs they got were open because the guys before them learned what they needed to know and moved on,to get jobs that paid more,demanded more skill and pushed them up the ladder of success another rung. OH-I know what the problem is. The Progressives have made them “VICTIMS”-they’ve convinced these people that flipping burgers is the best they’ll ever be able to do,that they just aren’t CAPABLE of more than that. And,as I was told,”If you don’t think you can do any better,you’re right;If you’re sure you CAN do better,you’re right.

  7. Seattle better be ready for automated burger joints.

    • Japan is much more advanced in robotics than the U.S. because of its low birth rate, aging population and reluctance to import foreign workers. Although the U.S. is throwing open its borders to Central Americans and Muslims, we inevitably will also go robotics, if only to mitigate against absurd minimum wages like Seattle’s $15.

      • That and the fact that automated equipment doesn’t call in sick, is never late, and only requires minimal maintenance to keep it humming right along.
        LOL – Sounds like an employer’s dream-come-true to me.

  8. I am going out on a limb here and make the statement that those pushing for these ridiculous wages have ever owned or operated a restaurant and know how hard it already was to clear a profit. Having been in the business many years, expect the cost of food to go up considerably.
    Part time and fast food jobs were never meant to be used to support families. It was for teens and the introduction into the work force.

    • The push behind this was Kshama Sawant, a socialist who grew up in India before marrying a Microsoft engineer and moving to the US. Because of the poverty she saw growing up in India, she decided that the US is the best place to start enacting socialist policies. I’m sure what she’s doing here is really going to help those living in poverty in Mumbai…
      From the $15 Now web site: “We demand social justice and a dignified life for all workers.” Ask in Seattle and proggies shall receive…after all, dignity means getting paid what SJWs demand rather than what the job is worth and how hard you work. If I was on that campaign, I’d be demanding $25/hour…that would really help me live a better and “dignified” life.

      • True, maybe it is time for Ms Sawant to return to her home land. The thing is. Everyone that takes a job does with the understanding of the rules and regulations, knowing what their pay will be and agree to it. Raising cane after earns them no sympathy.

  9. Socialists don’t seem to have any understanding of the business world. They think that money grows on trees and the employees should be getting everything. What they don’t realize is if they break the back of businesses, and especially restaurants, there won’t be any jobs.
    A 10.6 percent minimum wage increase in 2009 resulted in the loss of 600,000 teen jobs in six months, even with 4 percent economic expansion. Why focus upon teen employment? Because teens comprise the bulk of minimum wage earners. And most minimum wage earners do not work full-time.


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