One Bright Spot in KC’s Minimum Wage Debate

The new rule won’t discriminate against franchisees.

When the Kansas City Council decided to pass a minimum wage increase to $13 an hour by 2020, it left out language that would have discriminated against franchisees.

The city council’s decision marks yet another resounding defeat in the Service Employees International Union’s political and financially motivated attempt to destroy the franchise model by treating franchisees as large businesses, rather than the small, locally owned businesses that they actually are.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James acknowledged in the Kansas City Star that the new law, “rushed through without full research and data, is fraught with pitfalls and problems.”

The council’s decision reaffirms that Seattle, Wash., which raised its minimum hourly wage to $15 this spring, is on an island by itself as once again another prominent municipality has rejected the SEIU’s blatant misinformation and propaganda campaign to mandate wage increases for franchises at an accelerated rate compared to nonfranchise businesses.

While Kansas City’s decision to pass a significant minimum wage increase on businesses with more than 15 employees will undoubtedly result in job losses, business closures and higher prices for consumers if it survives a likely legal challenge, it is clearly a resounding victory for Kansas City franchisees who would have been forced to compete on an uneven playing field.

Since the beginning of this discussion, IFA has encouraged Kansas City’s City Council to recognize the 1,400 local franchises with over 18,300 employees as the small businesses that they are, and not discriminate against the franchise business model simply because they operate under a well-known brand name, which they pay to license the trademark.