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Joint Employment Challenges Continue in 2016

The legal concept of “joint employment” exists when a person is employed by two or more entities, such that the employers are responsible, individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a particular statute or...more

Adventures in Joint Employment: the Browning-Ferris Saga Continues with an Appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals

Last week, Browning-Ferris Industries, the California-based waste management company, appealed two decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board related to the definition of joint employer. Its appeal to the U.S....more

U.S. Department of Labor Expansively Defines Joint Employment Under FLSA

On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD) issued another Administrator’s Interpretation (the AI or “Guidance”) that it hopes will have a far-ranging impact on how employers do business...more

S.D.N.Y Dismisses Former Employee’s SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a motion for summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Pay Attention to Contractual Statutes of Limitation

Many franchise agreements include a contractual limitation period or time limit when parties can bring a claim for relief. Though the franchise agreement is often written by and for the franchisor, these limitations can help...more

Second Circuit Overturns Fraud Convictions in United States v. Litvak

The Second Circuit found no proof of material misrepresentations as to some charges, and held that expert testimony was improperly excluded as to others. On December 8, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit...more

Professor Coffee and Judge Rakoff Comment on Securities Class Actions

Since its inception, the concept of class action litigation – in a securities context or otherwise – has been met with arguments for and against it. To be sure, a class action suit is often the only way to properly...more

NLRB Discusses Joint Employment for the First Time Since Browning-Ferris

The National Labor Relations Board, in one of its first applications of the Browning-Ferris decision, gave hope to non-union contracting entities engaged in franchising and subcontracting relationships. After an extensive...more

The Contours of a Franchisor’s Vicarious Liability

In a ruling that reflects a clear understanding of the distinction between the roles of the franchisor and franchisee, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently held that Domino’s was not vicariously liable for the acts of...more

October 2015: Securities & Structured Finance Litigation Update

Renewed Potency for Personal Jurisdiction Defenses in the United States. Personal jurisdiction may be an afterthought for many lawyers. But recent developments—including an August 4, 2015 decision in the ongoing LIBOR...more

Second Circuit Upholds New York Ban on Credit Card Surcharges

Why it matters - New York’s ban on credit card sales transactions surcharges was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing a federal court judge’s 2013 ruling striking down the law and joining the majority...more

Business Litigation Reporter October 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - September 2015

RECENT SIGNIFICANT RULINGS - Subway Settles Footlong Complaints - In re: Subway Footlong Sandwich Mark’g & Sales Practices Litig., No. 3:13-md-2439 (E.D. Wis.): The Court granted preliminary approval to a nationwide...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

FRANCHISEE 101: Bankruptcy Discharges Franchise Law Claims

A recent Bankruptcy Appellate Panel decision is a reminder of both a benefit of bankruptcy, in appropriate circumstances, and the need to respect the bankruptcy discharge a party obtains in the process. Mr. Lee was...more

Arkansas Loves Home Cookin'

A federal judge in the Western District of Arkansas recently rejected a franchisor's attempt to invoke a forum selection clause, in Rob & Bud's Pizza, LLC v. Papa Murphy's Int'l, Inc,, on public policy grounds rooted in a...more

IFA Seeks OSHA Explanation of Applying a New Joint Employer Standard

The International Franchise Association (IFA) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) asking for the rationale behind questions that its inspectors are...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Franchisee Keeps Case in Home Court Despite Forum Selection Clause

Rob & Bud's Pizza ("R&B") is a Papa Murphy's franchisee and owns and operates multiple Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake Pizza restaurants in Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. In April 2014, R&B and other Papa Murphy's franchisees...more

Supreme Court Broadens Scope for Housing Discrimination Claims

Beneficial intent will not shield lenders and other financial services companies from discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), according to a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court. Specifically,...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

McDonald's Mandatory Use of Payroll Cards Violates Pennsylvania's Wage Payment and Collection Law

Over 2,300 current and former employees of 16 McDonald’s franchisee locations in Pennsylvania claim that requiring the use of payroll debit cards to get paid violates the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL),...more

May 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

May 2015 was one of the busiest months for independent contractor (IC) misclassification cases in the courts and administrative agencies – no less than a dozen cases including such well-known companies as BMW, the NFL and...more

Court Compels Production of Metadata (New Jersey)

Younes v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 2015 WL 126313 (D.N.J. Mar. 18, 2015). In this franchise dispute, the plaintiffs sought the metadata from two spreadsheets and 38 documents, arguing they needed the requested metadata because...more

FRANCHISEE 101: 7-Eleven Ordered to Disclose Metadata

A federal court has ordered 7-Eleven to disclose its metadata in three franchisees' claims that they were targeted for termination for financial, political and racially discriminatory reasons. Metadata is deep down "data...more

Franchisors in Québec have the implied obligation to protect and enhance the brand: the Dunkin’ Donuts case

In a unanimous decision, the Québec Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of the Superior Court which found that a franchisor must take reasonable measures to protect and enhance the value and reputation of its brand. Thus,...more

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