WASHINGTON (AP) — Wal-Mart says it won't build three stores it had planned for the District of Columbia if lawmakers approve a bill that would force the retailer to pay its employees at least $12.50 an hour.

Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. had been planning to build six stores in the nation's capital. But a Wal-Mart representative wrote in an op-ed published online by The Washington Post Tuesday that the retailer will abandon plans for three of those stores if the bill gains final approval from the D.C. Council Wednesday. Wal-Mart says the bill will also jeopardize three stores already under construction.

The bill is backed by worker advocates and unions that say employees of big-box stores should earn a "living wage." It applies only to stores doing business in spaces of 75,000 feet or more.