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Testing the “Joint Employer” Waters

PK Law recently reported on the filing of a complaint by the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) against McDonald’s Corporation to the effect that McDonald’s was a “joint employer” with its...more

Since When Am I the Boss? Ever Expanding Attacks on Non-Traditional “Employers”

In the past few years it has become increasingly common for plaintiffs to attempt to broaden their potential recovery sources by naming multiple defendants in employment actions under a joint employer theory – often including...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 190

In this Issue: - Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Enforcing Covenant Not To Compete Against Former Franchisee - Ninth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment In Franchisor's Favor - Seventh Circuit Finds No...more

Proportionality Trumps “Old Brain Thinking” Post-Hryniak

In the recent decision of Letang v Hertz Canada Ltd, Justice Myers refused to adjourn a trial date despite the last-minute production of documents, decrying “old brain thinking” that has thwarted timely access to Canada’s...more

Beneficiaries Lack Standing to Challenge Trustee's Actions in Bankruptcy Court

In a recent ruling on In re Land Securities Investors, Ltd., the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado ruled that trust beneficiaries do not have standing to appear in a bankruptcy case even when the...more

Will 2015 Be The Year of the Data Breach Class Action?: Target Data Breach Claims Survive Motions to Dismiss

Various media outlets dubbed 2014 “the Year of the Data Breach.” Unfortunately for businesses, breach of their secure systems by hackers may be only the beginning of the bad news – which often culminates in class action...more

Hospitalitas Newsletter - Winter 2014

In This Issue: - Marriott Fined $600,000 For Wi-Fi Jamming - Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB’s General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the Joint-Employer Standard, and...more

Franchisor Liability for Franchisee Employment Decisions: The NLRB's General Counsel Addresses the Move to Expand the...

In July 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) took the unexpected step of authorizing complaints against McDonald's USA, LLC and some of its franchisees for the franchisees' responses to employee protests. The Board...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Statutes of Limitation Message for Franchisors and Franchisees

In Kroshnyi v. U.S. Pack Courier Services, Inc., a case pending for 13 years (and not over yet), numerous drivers claimed their package delivery franchisor violated New York's franchise law. From 1996 to 1998 the drivers...more

“Would You Like Joint-Employer Liability With That?” McDonald’s Serves as a Cautionary Tale for Franchisors and Other Potential...

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel has investigated charges alleging McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC, violated the rights of employees as a result of activities...more

Court Denies Motion to Remand, Rejecting Application of Home State and Local Controversy Exceptions to CAFA

The plaintiff filed a putative class action in Pennsylvania state court against two Pennsylvania defendants and one Virginia defendant, claiming that the defendants preyed on non-English speakers, illegally coercing them to...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

FRANCHISOR 101: Venue and Choice of Law Provisions Not Enforceable in California

In 2013, Pepe's Franchising, a U.K. company, entered into a Master Franchise Agreement with Frango Grill, based in California, granting the right to operate and franchise Pepe's restaurants in California. The Agreement's...more

Oklahoma Chicken Express Franchiser to Pay $15,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit

Restaurants Exploited Class of Hispanic Cooks by Failing to Pay Overtime, Federal Agency Charged - OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - NSC Chicken, LP, dba Chicken Express, will pay $15,000 and furnish other relief to settle a...more

Georgia Court of Appeals rules franchisees can assert claims for relief under Georgia’s tort statute for violating the FTC...

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld a judgment entered on a jury verdict against a franchisor for violating the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Rule, 16 CFR Parts 436 and 437 (the FTC Rule), finding that the FTC...more

Domino’s Delivers Key Ruling in Favor of Franchisors

The California Supreme Court recently issued an important victory for franchisors, finding that a franchisor does not stand in an employment or agency relationship with the franchisee and its employees for purposes of holding...more

Putative Class Members Not Lovin’ It – Court Denies Conditional Certification of Supersized McDonald’s FLSA Class of More Than...

McDonald’s, the fast food giant known for supersizing its orders, avoided conditional certification of an FLSA collective action this week based on the “very large” size of the putative class. The Eastern District of Michigan...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Forum Selection Clauses May Be Enforceable

A recent decision in Allegra Holdings, LLC v. Davis demonstrates that courts are enforcing forum selection clauses in favor of out-of-state franchisors and against in-state franchisees, notwithstanding franchise anti-waiver...more

California Supreme Court Overturns 2012 Domino's Decision

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court reversed a 2012 Court of Appeal decision in Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC. The lower court held that franchise operating systems, like Domino's, deprive franchisees of the...more

California Employment Law Notes

Franchisor Is Not Liable For Franchisee's Alleged Sexual Harassment Of Its Employee - Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, 2014 WL 4236175 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) - Taylor Patterson was hired by Sui Juris (a franchisee...more

Domino’s Pizza is Not Vicariously Liable for Acts of a Franchise Employee Where Domino’s Lacks Control Over Employee, Says...

Domino’s Pizza This week, the California Supreme Court held that Domino’s Pizza was not liable for the torts of an employee of a franchise because Domino’s had no contractual or operational control over the employee. The...more

Ice Cream Maker No Softee When It Comes to Infringement of Its Trademarks

Just as summer is coming to a close, the battle between Mister Softee and Master Softee appears to be heating up. Mister Softee is a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1956. It is the franchisor for the...more

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC: Franchisors Are Not Vicariously Liable as “Employers” or “Principals” for Their Franchisees’...

In a significant win for franchisors, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that although Domino’s “imposes comprehensive and meticulous standards for marketing its trademarked brand and operating its franchises in a uniform...more

Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed

Virginia’s public policy in favor of freedom of contract is well established. It may be most conspicuously evidenced by the Supreme Court of Virginia’s increasingly narrow construction of post-contract employment restrictions...more

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