Franchise Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Franchise issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Tastes Like Chicken, Not a Copyright

A common refrain: “There must be a way to protect this idea, either by trademark or copyright.” Regrettably, in many instances, the answer is “none of the above.” Take, for example, the humble chicken sandwich....more

Revisions to California Franchise Relations Act to Provide Greater Protections for Franchisees

The California Senate is putting the final touches on revisions to the California Franchise Relations Act. The law, when enacted, will increase franchisee protections against unilateral termination, provide more notice in the...more

The NLRB Expands Its Reach in the Non-Union Workplace

The National Labor Relations Board continues to infiltrate the workplace even where there are no unions. Standard workplace policies — including those relating to employee conduct, protecting intellectual property, use of...more

Last Call: California Legislature Makes Final Push for 2015 Session

The California Legislature reconvened on Monday, August 17, to finish its work for the 2015 regular session, which must end by September 11. The following bills are of particular interest to California private sector...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

Polsinelli Podcast - What Employers Need to Know About Dealing With Cash [Video]

If you own a smaller business and routinely deposit cash into the bank, there are changes underway that could one day make banks no longer want to handle cash. What does this mean for your business and what’s behind the...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Florida Franchisor Awarded Lost Future Profits

An arbitration panel in Florida found that a disaster recovery and remediation business franchisee breached his agreement with John Woods, his franchisor, by terminating the agreement 13 years before expiration of the 20-year...more

The NLRB Refuses to Require its General Counsel to Explain the Joint Employer Case Against McDonald's

The National Labor Relations Board continues the string of controversial moves in its unfair labor practice cases against McDonald’s. In December 2014, the NLRB’s General Counsel filed thirteen complaints naming the...more

SEC Sanctions Dark Pool Operator and Affiliated High Frequency Trader

In the latest round of regulatory action involving high frequency trading and dark pools, the SEC announced yesterday that it reached a settlement with ITG, Inc., and its affiliate Alternet Securities, Inc., imposing a $20.3...more

The Competition and Markets Authority's consultation on "Competition in passenger rail services in Great Britain" - On 17 July...

On 17 July 2015, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its consultation document regarding competition in passenger rail services in Great Britain. This followed its announcement in January that it intended to...more

Distribution Basics

The process of distribution is critically important to craft breweries; but, it is commonly misunderstood in relation to the overall operational success of a brewery. A common misconception by those entering the craft beer...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Hawaiian Distributor May Be a Franchisee

A long-standing distributor and licensee of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Hawaii was entitled to proceed on its claim that the business relationship with Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc. was a "franchise" under Hawaii's...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Contractual Disclaimers Save the Day

A federal court in Florida has ruled that a disclaimer of representations contained in the franchise agreement between a childcare business franchisor and its franchisees barred claims against the franchisor for alleged...more

Texas Bill Protects Franchisors From Joint Employment Liability

Texas legislators recently passed S.B. 652, which seeks to protect franchisors from employment liability for the actions of franchisees. Enacted in June 2015, S.B. 652 amends the Texas Labor Code to specify that a franchisor...more

New York Singles Out “Fast Food” Industry for Minimum Wage of $15.00

On July 27, 2015, the New York Fast Food Wage Board (“FFWB”) formally approved resolutions to increase the minimum wage for workers in quick-service and fast-casual restaurants in New York City and the rest of New York to...more

New Texas Law: Is it Enough to Ease Concern Over Franchise Liability for Employment-Related Claims?

In response to concerns of franchisors that recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) actions threaten to undermine the common understanding of a franchisor-franchisee relationship, the Texas Labor Code was amended by the...more

Cuba Si! Trade With Cuba … Not Quite Yet

There has been much fanfare surrounding the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, starting with President Obama’s announcement of the resumption of bilateral relations, and followed by the formal establishment of...more

Restaurant Industry Alert: Wage Board Proposal - Fast Food Workers' Minimum Wage May Rise to $15 in New York City by 2018

On July 22, 2015, the New York State Department of Labor's (NYSDOL) Wage Board voted to recommend a 171 percent increase in the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York City (NYC), from the current hourly rate of $8.75...more

Wage Board Recommends an Increase in the Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers to $15.00 Per Hour

On July 22, 2015, the Fast Food Wage Board (which was empaneled at the direction of Governor Cuomo to investigate and make recommendations regarding an increase in the minimum wage for employees in the fast food industry)...more

Subway Franchise in Albany Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment of Teen Job Applicants

Restaurant Manager Sent Sexually Offensive Texts Demanding Sex for Jobs, Federal Agency Charged - ALBANY, N.Y. - Draper Development, LLC, doing business as Subway, which operates at least 24 Subway restaurants in the...more

New York Bill Follows California’s Lead to Recognize Professional Cheerleaders as Employees

It’s official—professional cheerleaders are now recognized as employees under California law. On July 15, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that requires all California-based professional sports teams to pay...more

Franchise and Distribution News - July 2015

A VIEW FROM TWIN PEAKS - Quick. Define Twin Peaks. Other than the obviously now dated TV show, up until a couple of weeks ago, the only other definition of Twin Peaks was a restaurant chain that featured double entendre...more

Reflections on the Origins of the NY Franchise Act

I recently had occasion to review the legislative history of the New York Franchise Sales Act (NYFSA). The NYFSA was enacted into law in 1980 and became effective January 1, 1981. At that time, Robert Abrams was the NY...more

Looking Forward by Looking Back: China’s Franchise Regulations After Eight Years

On July 1 and 2, we, representing the International Franchise Association, met with China’s franchise regulators in Beijing and Shanghai. The conversation would be familiar to anyone who has been closely following the...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

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