What’s a fast food company to do when duly elected government officials enact a law designed to make companies treat their workers like human beings? In McDonald’s case, the answer is “sue all the way to the Supreme Court.” On Monday, though, the highest court in the land basically kidney-punched Ronald McDonald right in his stupid new clown evening jacket, telling the company, in legal terms, to STFU.
This is (SURPRISE!) once again about Seattle, Washington’s landmark $15 minimum wage law. McDonald’s legal challenge wasn’t to the law itself, though; not even fast food companies are dumb enough to think “a civic government raising wages through a fair legislative process” would be ruled unconstitutional, even if aspiring Nazgul Antonin Scalia were still on the bench (update: he is not. He is still dead). The International Franchise Association (which, as a reminder, generally exists in order to screw over franchisees at the behest of their parent companies), one of the organizations behind the challenge, instead sought to cripple the law by targeting the provision that gave small businesses three years more to enact the higher wages than were granted to megacorps. McDonald’s had been pooping in its Pampers about the “discriminatory” nature of such a provision, especially since the company’s franchises (which are 90% of all McDonald’s locations) weren’t classified as small businesses.
A federal judge ruled against McDonald’s in March 2015, and the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals likewise ruled McDonald’s were being a bunch of dumb assholes. The company was nevertheless hopeful the Supreme Court might be more pliable. SCOTUS, though, rejected McDonald’s challenge, refusing to hear it and basically responding “what they said” in reference to the lower court’s ruling. It’s unclear if Antonin Scalia would’ve influenced the court towards hearing the case; if he would have done, we have yet another example of Dead Scalia making the world a better place.
It should also come as no surprise that this was the end result. McDonald’s was, as per usual, looking to have it both ways: relying on a business model that royally screws over their franchisees to a degree unusual even in the fast food industry, while simultaneously attempting to get them treated as Mom n’ Pop stores. It would be laughable if it weren’t so disingenuously sociopathic. Now that their challenge has officially been fired into the sun, might we suggest McDonald’s restructure their agreements such that the company doesn’t assume 95% of the profit and 0% of the costs associated with franchise operation? That might be a good move. You dickrockets.
Say it with me, class: an increased minimum wage does not destroy the economy. It does not destroy the entire fast food business model. It will not be leading to The Robopocalypse (crap, I knew I forgot one). Thank you and good day, sir or madam.
WE. SAID. GOOD. DAY.