Franchise Updates

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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

Negotiating with a Tribe or Tribal Entity: Practical Tips for Franchisors

Indian gaming has exploded in the more than twenty-five years since Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). According to the 2014 Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report, Indian tribes received $28.1...more

NLRB Pushing for a Joint Employer Liability Model for Franchisors?

In a move that has caused great concern in the franchising industry, in pending cases filed by employees against McDonald's franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has authorized the filing of complaints...more

Retailer - Fall 2014

Counting the Cost of Payroll Cards: Are they Worth it for Employers? Retailers, as well as other employers, have grown to rely on payroll cards to compensate employees who may not have bank accounts. What are the legal risks...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

Franchising agreements in Italy

We live in one of the world fashion capitals, waiting every year for the new Milan fashion week as an opportunity to cover in our blog some of the top current legal issues impacting the fashion sector....more

JOINT EMPLOYER: When is a company considered the employer of another company’s employees?

During the last several months, a number of government agencies and courts have taken the position that a company can be considered the employer of another company’s employees for purposes of employment law obligations. Most...more

Lessons from Recent NLRB Actions

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel recently investigated allegations against various McDonald’s franchises and its franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC. The charges were that the company...more

Employers Beware: McDonald’s Memorandum Suggests That the NLRB Intends to Loosen the Standard for When Legally Separate Entities...

In late July, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB” or “Board”) issued a memorandum in a group of cases against operators of several McDonald’s franchises. The memorandum is significant...more

Franchisor Not Liable for Sexual Harassment of Franchisee's Employee under FEHA

In Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court took on the issue of whether a franchisor is an "employer" of its franchisee's employees under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") and therefore...more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Rules – No Franchisor Vicarious Liability

The California Supreme Court recently held in Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (Cal. Aug. 28, 2014) that a franchisor could not be held vicariously liable under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

Business Law Newsletter - Septermber 2014

In This Issue: - Monkeying around with Copyright Laws - Who can Own a Copyright? - Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed - The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia -...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

Pecuniary Penalties Introduced For Breaches Of The Franchising Code Of Conduct

Introduction Of Civil Pecuniary Penalties - The Government has now passed legislation which will allow pecuniary penalties and infringement notices as remedies for breaches of the Franchising Code of Conduct...more

Avoiding and Defending Florida License Tax Audits

Florida hotels and restaurants are facing license tax audits, assessments and penalties in increasing numbers. A "license" is statutorily defined as the granting of a privilege to use or occupy a building or real property....more

Considering the Eminent Domain of Sports Franchises

In a thought-provoking article, Anthony F. Della Pelle considers the interesting question of whether the City of Los Angeles could simply “take” the LA Clippers via eminent domain. One might typically associate California’s...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies When a Franchisee's Employees Can Bring Employment Claims Against the Franchisor in Taylor...

In Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court restricted the ability of a franchisee’s employees to sue the franchisor based on theories of vicarious liability and the theory that the franchisor was...more

CPUC Adopts Rules for Renewal of State Video Franchises

Commission Decides Streamlined Process Required by DIVCA - The California Public Utilities Commission has concluded its rulemaking proceeding and adopted streamlined rules that holders of state video franchises (such as...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

Who's in Control Here? California's Supreme Court Establishes New Standards for Potential Franchisor Liability for Employee Tort...

On August 28, 2014, the Supreme Court of California, in Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, decided whether a franchisor was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims that the franchisor was vicariously liable for...more

Landmark Ruling: Franchisor Not Liable Absent Employment Related Control

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of Domino's Pizza and all business format franchisors that do business in California. In Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, ---P.3d---, 2014 WL...more

McDonald’s and Uber: Too Much Control Over Employees

There have been some seismic movements of late in the labor and employment field. First, McDonald’s was found to be a “joint employer” with its franchisees by the National Labor Relations Board. As widely reported, this...more

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