McDonald's sues to block Seattle's minimum wage


#1

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#2

When did reality become an editor for The Onion?


#3

So…black people just need to form a corporation?


#4

I can’t remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s…

… and it’ll be a cold day in Hell before the next.


#5

I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one. And I’ll believe money is speech when someone tries to shout me down with it. (the first is stolen from a t-shirt, the latter is my own)


#6

This looks like a textbook example of the Law of Completely Intended Consequences.


#7

What is the actual argument/problem? The closest this fluffy article gets to anything of substance is noting that “According to the Hamburglar, treating a franchised business differently from a local business violates this Equal Protection Clause.”.
Does the new minimum wage only apply to franchised businesses and not local businesses? (If so then why is it being called a “minimum wage”?) That would be a legitimate grievance (the minimum wage should cover all workers) but is it the case? In what way is the minimum wage (supposedly or genuinely) not really the actual minimum?


#8

I think you have that backwards.


#9

The law is being phased in differently depending on number of employees. Small businesses have much longer to adopt the new wage (years). In my opinion nobody should get a break, Seattle needs 15 now, no exceptions.


#10

…new ad campaign : People leaving their shitty McJobs, for better futures. Tag it with “This job ? I’m Shoving It.”

Someone clever make that happen for me, 'kay ?

Thanks. You’re super, Cory.


#11

That about sums it all up for me…

PS. That crap they call “FOOD” is poison…


#12

With apologies to Lincoln: When I hear anyone arguing for lower wages, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.


#13

Well, it’s a little more subtle than this article implies. The issue has to do with treating employers with fewer than 500 employees as ‘large’ employers if they happen to be part of a franchise. True franchise operators operate fairly independently from one another. I think there is an argument to be made as to whether McDonalds is really operated as an independent franchise or not. But it does seem sort of unfair to say that a 5 employee company is a ‘large’ employer if they have a business arrangement with a chain, while a 499 employee company is ‘small’ if they do not.

That this is being argued as a 14th Amendment issue, however, is ridiculous.


#14

It’s important to first note that McDonald’s is not filing suit here. The named individual plaintiffs (you can find the complaint here; it’s linked in the HuffPo piece) are franchisees of large chains, and none of them own a McDonald’s location. Neither McDonald’s corporate, nor any named McDonald’s franchisees, have anything to do with this lawsuit. It’s conceivable that some McDonald’s franchisees are indirectly contributing toward legal fees because they are members of the International Franchisee Association, which has sued on behalf of its membership, but McDonald’s has nothing to do with this suit. It’s a Comfort Inn owner, a Holiday Inn Express owner, the owner of a printing company franchise, and the owners of a home health care franchise. These owners sue in their personal capacities as persons who own businesses, not as “corporate persons.”

The 14th Amendment argument hinges on the classification of their businesses. The Seattle ordinance says that large businesses (more than 500 employees) have to roll out the higher minimum wage several years before small businesses (less than 500 employees). Seattle classes the franchisees, each of whom indisputably employ less than 500 people, as “large businesses,” because even though they are legally separate from the franchisors, there are more than 500 people employed by the whole network of franchisees (i.e., anyone who is employed by a Comfort Inn franchise nationwide counts toward the total, not just the people employed by one owner’s single hotel). The claim, then, is that the franchisees are denied equal protection of the law vis-a-vis other businesses that employ the same number of people; they claim it violates the 14th amendment to treat them as owners of much larger businesses when they indisputably employ fewer than 500 people. I think it’s an interesting argument, but I’m not sure how successful it will be.

But for a lawsuit that has no McDonald’s anywhere near it, I’m interested in BoingBoing and HuffPo making it all about the Golden Arches.


#15

So if corporations are people then owning a corporation is slavery which is banned?


#16

Sadly we all have been shouted down many times with money.


#17

There’s a Forbes article that’s much more informative: http://www.forbes.com/sites/caroltice/2014/06/03/franchise-group-to-sue-over-seattles-15-an-hour-minimum-wage/

TL;DR: It’s not McDonalds directly, and the suit is claiming that it’s unfair that under-500-person companies who aren’t franchises get to drag their feet on raising the minimum wage, while franchises don’t get to, even if they’re not receiving support from the mothership.


#18

The fact that they can use that branding at all is support from the mothership. Do they honestly think they’d have the credibility and traffic they do if they just setup “Red-and-Yellow-Clown-burger” instead of McDonalds?


#19

The definition of ‘slave’ is a person who is owned by one or more other people.
All corporations are, legally, people.
All corporations are owned by other people, generally in the form of shares.
So, technically, stockholders are slave owners…


#20

I think there is also an argument to be made that an operation the size of McDonald’s has a pretty good grasp of their cost basis and should be able to factor a “living wage” to their pricing structure.