Seattle McDonald’s “NOW HIRING” Despite Franchise-Killing Minimum Wage Ordinance

Downtown Seattle McDonald's still hiring despite higher minimum wage.

Downtown Seattle McDonald’s still hiring despite higher minimum wage.

When the International Franchise Association filed its hilarious lawsuit against Seattle’s $15 minimum wage, its lawyers warned that the ordinance’s “discriminatory” provisions could “cause some franchisees to shut their doors.” Maybe. But you wouldn’t know it from the “NOW HIRING” signs plastered in the windows at the McDonald’s at 3rd & Pine in downtown Seattle.

And not only are they hiring, they’re hiring at $11.00 an hour—$3.75 an hour more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage, $1.53 more than the $9.47 state minimum wage, and $1 an hour more than a small Seattle business whose employees earn tips and/or health benefits. And yet despite these higher labor costs, this particular McDonald’s is still hiring, and at 10am on a Tuesday, the restaurant was still packed.

Go figure!

Yeah, sure, it’s only $11.00 an hour—it’ll take another few years for $15 to fully kick in on franchises. But that’s already a 52 percent premium over the federal minimum wage, and we aren’t seeing any negative employment effects yet. Which suggests there’s a bit more room to set wages above the “market” rate than minimum wage opponents like to admit.



David "Goldy" Goldstein has written about politics for The Stranger, The Nation and the Huffington Post. He hosted “The David Goldstein Show” on Seattle’s news/talk 710-KIRO from 2006 through 2008, and has been pissing off readers at his blog for more than a decade.