Franchise Updates

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“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

Franchise arrangements pose legal problem for NLRB’s proposed joint-employer standard

The National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, who is recommending that the Board dramatically alter the joint-employer doctrine, admitted that his proposal may run into “a problem legally” when it comes to...more

Game changer – the proposed Joint Employer standard

The US National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have launched a coordinated prosecutorial assault on businesses that use outsourcing, franchising or sub-contracting. The...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Avoid Acts & Omissions That Expose Your Franchisor to Potential Liability

A West Virginia Court refused to dismiss an action brought under its state workers' compensation law. That law permits an employee to recover greater damages when deliberate intent exists. An employee of a Hardee's...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Avoid Liability for Acts and Incidents at Franchisees' Locations

There has been a lot of news lately about risks of franchisors being liable for acts and incidents at franchised locations. The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel recently announced he intends to claim...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

Comparing Franchise Relationships and Beer Distribution Relationships

Beer distribution laws differ from traditional franchise laws in many ways, but they do share some commonalities. As a matter of fact, many states now regulate the relationship between those who brew or import beer into a...more

Microsoft’s New Battle: Toads

It isn’t often that Forbes and Arcade Sushi are reporting on the same story. But some news is so big, so ground breaking, and so important that all media outlets cannot, in good moral consciousness, fail to comply with their...more

Employer Threatened with Legal Action Over Broad Use of Non-Competition Agreements

On their face, post-employment non-competition agreements seem like a great idea. What employer wouldn’t want to keep their employees from jumping to a competitor? However, one employer’s experience with broad use of such...more

Second Circuit: Oral Agreement to Pay Commissions Not Barred by Statute of Frauds

A recent opinion from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirms that the Statute of Frauds will not void an oral agreement to pay commissions if the agreement lacks a fixed duration. In Kroshnyi v. U.S. Pack...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

New Franchising Code of Conduct From 1 January 2015

The biggest overhaul of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code) since its introduction is reaching completion following registration of the Code on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 3 November 2014. The new...more

The Largest Global Franchise Brands Are U.S. Restaurants

Franchising fared respectably in a recent rating of the most valuable worldwide brands across all industries. McDonald’s was rated among the ten most valuable worldwide brands in Interbrand’s 15th annual Best Global Brands...more

Regulators Jointly Approve Final Risk Retention Rule

On October 22, coordinated by the Department of Treasury, six federal agencies – the Board of Governors, HUD, FDIC, FHFA, OCC, and SEC – approved a final rule requiring sponsors of securitized transactions, such as...more

Counseling Licensors on the Steps They Can Take to Avoid Creating a Franchise Relationship

Tracy Mark, who has registered her company’s brand name as a mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is successfully promoting her company’s products and services and now would like to leverage the market appeal of...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

CFPB announces November 13 “mystery” field hearing

Departing from its past practice, the CFPB has announced that it will hold a field hearing in Wilmington, Delaware on November 13 but has not yet disclosed what the hearing will be about. Instead, the announcement says only...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

Joint employer law: is the NLRB edging closer to the abyss? Takeaways from the Bloomberg webinar

Last week, Bloomberg BNA presented a webinar titled “The Current State of Joint Employer Law: How Can Both Employers and Unions prepare for the Future?” The three presenters were Barry Kearney, National Labor Relations...more

Top of Mind - October 2014: Editor's Choice

BYOD: cool but dangerous – 3 HIPAA Security Rule challenges, 7 key precautions - Companies and employees like the idea of bring your own device (BYOD) policies that allow employees to use their personal mobiles for...more

Why Subfranchising is Rare in the U.S.

Subfranchising is one of three multi-unit franchise structures that the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (NASAA) addressed in their Multi-Unit Commentary, which was the subject of an earlier post. ...more

For Convenience Store Chains in Georgia, Leasing Business Operations to Separate Entity Can Maximize Recovery in Condemnations

In Georgia, when a convenience store chain both owns and operates a location, it should lease business operations to a separate legal entity to maximize recovery in the event of a partial condemnation. In limited...more

Brand Standards Are for Everyone

Now more than ever, it is important to understand brand standards: why they are set; how they affect franchisors, franchisees, and customers; and what the boundaries of brand enforcement policies should be....more

Businesses Anxiously Await NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standard

Many are up in arms following a memorandum issued by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) authorizing employees of a national restaurant chain to argue that the franchisor is jointly responsible...more

California’s Governor Brown Does the Right Thing

The big news in franchising last week was a nonevent. Legislation in California that never should have become law did not become law. The credit for this nondevelopment goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who vetoed Senate Bill...more

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