(Image via David Ryder, Reuters)

Last week, Free Speech For People filed an amicus brief in IFA v. Seattle, in defense of Seattle’s new ‘living wage’ law, now under fire from the International Franchise Associations, the National Restaurant Association, and other industry trade groups. Our legal director, Ron Fein explains today on Reuters.

The piece begins:

Industry trade groups are now challenging Seattle’s new minimum wage law as unconstitutional. They claim the city’s $15 an hour rate violates the 14th Amendment. Passed just after the Civil War to ensure equal rights for the newly freed slaves, that amendment says no state may “deny to any person . . . the equal protection of the laws.”
According to the industry lawsuit, the minimum wage law violates this Equal Protection Clause because it phases in the higher wage at a different schedule for franchised companies than for small local businesses. But the trade groups’ argument twists the real intent of the 14th Amendment. Its drafters had a special interest in whether workers could earn “fair, living wages,” our research has revealed.


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