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Five Critical Wage and Hour Issues Impacting Employers

It is no secret that the wage and hour requirements found in the myriad of federal, state, and local laws and regulations present unique challenges to employers across the country. Those challenges are further complicated by...more

Chorley Enterprises, Inc. v. Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.: Arbitration Provisions in Maryland Franchise Agreements

Maryland law requires franchisors include a provision in their franchise agreements that preserves the franchisee’s ability to litigate certain claims in court rather than in arbitration. In Chorley Enterprises, Inc. v....more

Sign O’ The Times: SCOTUS Denies Cert In Franchise Arbitration Dispute

On Monday of this week, after stringing the parties along for five months, SCOTUS denied cert in a case involving the intersection between arbitration and franchise regulation. The petition was filed in November of 2015,...more

Ninth Circuit: Arbitration Provision Contained In Sham Agreement Is Not Enforceable

The Ninth Circuit reversed a district court ruling that had compelled arbitration, holding that a party may not enforce an arbitration agreement where the clause is contained in a nonbinding contract. The parties had entered...more

What’s on the Horizon for U.S. Employers in 2016?

While the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and on-going Congressional gridlock make it unlikely any new federal employment laws will be enacted in the U.S. in 2016, employers can expect federal agencies to continue their...more

Arbitration Provision Rejected in Franchise Dispute

In Case Del Caffe Vergnano SPA v. ItalFlavors, LLC, the Ninth Circuit held that the court, not an arbitration tribunal, could review a franchise contract and determine it was a sham, based upon a second contract signed...more

FRANCHISOR 101: The Importance of Arbitration Provisions

Though some of the more important terms may appear early in a franchise agreement, some key terms placed near the end - the portion of the agreement that is often called "boilerplate" - may determine who wins or loses a legal...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Pizza Hut Franchisee Waived Arbitration Right

The world’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee, NPC International, Inc. (“NPC”), which operates more than 1200 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, was sued in federal district court by employees in five separate collective...more

Eighth Circuit Upholds Arbitration Agreement In Absence Of Actual Proof Of Unconscionability Due To Cost

The Eighth Circuit affirmed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri which rejected the contention that an arbitration agreement was unconscionable, and unenforceable under the Federal...more

Court Applies Concepcion And Compels Arbitration, Rejecting Claim That Agreement Precluded “Effective Vindication Of State...

In a putative class action alleging violation of Pennsylvania labor laws, unfair trade practices, and other state law claims brought by a franchisee against the franchisor and two subsidiaries, the court stayed the...more

Eighth Circuit Shows How Difficult It Is To Prove Arbitration Agreement Unconscionable Due To Cost

Almost two years ago in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors, SCOTUS significantly narrowed, but did not overrule, the “effective vindication” doctrine, which allows plaintiffs to invalidate an arbitration agreement if it...more

Direct Benefits Estoppel: 7th Cir. Explains How You Can Be Compelled To Arbitrate Without Agreeing To Do So

Everyone knows that you can’t be compelled to arbitrate a dispute unless you’ve agreed to do so. But what everyone knows is sometimes wrong. There are situations in which a person has to arbitrate even though she didn’t sign...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Illusory Arbitration Provisions Not Enforceable in Indiana

In 2010, Steak 'n Shake, a franchisor of hamburger restaurants, adopted new pricing and promotion policies that required all franchisees to follow company mandated pricing on every menu item and to participate in all...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - August 2014

Partial-Day Leave Deductions Lawful for Exempt Employees - A California court of appeal recently confirmed that employers may require exempt employees to use accrued leave for partial-day absences, even if shorter than...more

Focused on Franchise Law - July 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: Location of Dispute Clauses Will Be Enforced - A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision is having a big impact on the locations where franchisor-franchisee disputes are being resolved. ...more

Appellate Court Holds That Arbitrators Did Not Act In Excess Of Their Authority Or In Manifest Disregard Of Law In Denying Motion...

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s denial of a motion to vacate an arbitration award issued in a dispute between the Johnsons and Wetzel’s Pretzels, concerning the termination of a franchise...more

Fourth Circuit Sends Franchisee To Individual Arbitration, Expands Application Of Concepcion

The Fourth Circuit issued a bold new arbitration decision last week, sending a putative class of shuttle drivers to arbitration while expanding its application of SCOTUS’ Concepcion decision beyond cases involving federal...more

First Circuit Makes Circuit Split Lopsided In Favor Of Narrowing Impact Of Stolt-Nielsen

With less colorful language than its last arbitration opinion, the First Circuit sided with the Second and Third fireworks Circuits in limiting the application of the 2010 Stolt-Nielsen decision on the availability of class...more

Petitioner Seeking To Vacate International Arbitral Award Has Choices Concerning How To Serve Respondent

Mafidis v. Subway International, B.V., Case No. 3:10-CV-119 (PCD)(D. Conn. 2011), involves an attempt by a Subway franchisee under an international franchise agreement to vacate an international arbitral award against Subway....more

Class Action Waivers in Commercial Agreements: Comparing Their Treatment in the US and Canada by Jennifer Dolman and Matt Thompson

This article first appeared in the December 2011 issue of LJN’s Franchising Business & Law Alert. It discusses the treatment of class action waivers in commercial agreements (including franchise agreements) in the US...more

Does a Decision to Arbitrate Still Make Sense by Leslie Dizgun and Jennifer Dolman with the assistance of Matt Thompson

This paper was presented at the Ontario Bar Association 11th Annual Franchise Law Conference on November 2, 2011. It addresses whether arbitration makes sense in the franchise context and summarizes how the courts have...more

Osler Update: Supreme Court of Canada Allows Parties to Escape Arbitration Clause and Pursue Class Action

This Osler Update is a summary of the much anticipated Supreme Court of Canada decision in Seidel v. Telus Communications Inc. (Telus)which was released on March 18, 2011. At issue was whether a mandatory arbitration clause...more

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