AAHOA Files Amicus Brief Against Discriminatory Wage Law in Seattle

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New law creates a disadvantage to small business owners who may employ small amount of workers.

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The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) recently joined with leading business and hospitality organizations in standing against the discriminatory wage law which was recently passed in Seattle, Washington.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Hotel & Lodging Association, National Restaurant Association, Home Care Association of America, Washington Retail Association and AAHOA filed an amicus brief in support of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) motion for a preliminary injunction to block Seattle’s new minimum wage law.

The new law calls for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour and creates a regulatory scheme that distinguishes between businesses depending on size of the workforce. So-called “large employers” – those with over 500 employees – are required to adjust to the new increase within three years. Whereas, “small employers” – those with fewer than 500 employees – are afforded up to seven years to accommodate to the wage structure. Most dramatically, independently owned and operated franchise businesses are considered large employers under the law, because the overall franchise network includes more than 500 employees.

“The vast majority of AAHOA’s more than 12,500 members are franchisees and this law strikes directly at the heart of our businesses,” said AAHOA Chairman Pratik Patel. “AAHOA steadfastly stands with IFA and the business community in this legal action to protect hoteliers who create hundreds of thousands of good American jobs, invest in our local communities and contribute billions of dollars to the American economy.”

Patel also noted that the law creates a competitive disadvantage to small business owners who may only employ fewer than a dozen workers. “This law targets a class of entrepreneurs for disparate treatment and unfairly burdens them with higher labor costs, simply because of their chosen association with a franchise brand,” Patel said.

Founded in 1989, AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with more than 12,500 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own more than 20,000 properties amounting to more than 40 percent of all hotels in the United States and employ nearly 600,000 workers, accounting for over $9.4 billion in payroll annually.

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