Franchise Civil Procedure

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Federal Court Serves Up Satisfying Seconds For California Franchisors: No Ostensible Agency Liability For Franchisees’ Alleged...

Seyfarth Synopsis: A federal court in California recently held that a franchisor cannot be held liable for labor code claims where it did not exercise control directly, or through an actual agency relationship with the...more

Court Finds That Arbitration Award That Interpreted Contract “Termination” To Include Contract “Expiration” Was Not A “Manifest...

Former franchisees filed a petition to vacate an arbitration award entered in favor of their former franchisor which enforced a 2-year non-compete provision in the parties’ franchise agreement when the agreement expired. The...more

Superior Court of Québec Confirms Validity of Percentage Royalties Paid by Pharmacist-Owners to Franchisor

The Superior Court of Québec (Court), presided by Justice M. Monast, recently ruled on an important point of contention for franchise pharmacies, by confirming the validity of a percentage royalty clause contained in a...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms California District Court’s Confirmation Of Arbitration Award

In this matter, a California district court confirmed an arbitration award in favor of D.A.R.E. America, and denied a motion to vacate the arbitration award by D.A.R.E. New Jersey, Inc. D.A.R.E. New Jersey, Inc. appealed to...more

Must A False Statement To A Franchisee Be Made “In this state”?

The list of instruments and interests included within the definition of a “security” in California Corporations Code Section 25019 is long. A franchise, however, is not to be found amongst the named. In fact, the statute...more

Ostensible Agency, Hold the Class Certification: Would You Like Franchise With That?

It’s a common business model in the fast-food industry: a massive restaurant company provides the menu, the marketing—including catchy slogans and a universally recognized logo—and the basic operational standards for the...more

The Practical NLRB Advisor - Issue 4 | Winter 2017

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continued making life more difficult for employers in 2016. The agency issued a host of decisions that significantly expand the number and type of individuals that unions can seek to...more

Indiana Court of Appeals Allows Negligent Hiring Claim Despite Admission that Employee Acted Within Scope of Employment

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently determined that a negligent hiring claim against Pizza Hut can continue to move through the trial court after finding that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Are Franchisees Your Employees?

Prudent franchisors have been reducing their apparent control over franchisees' employees to reduce the risk of becoming joint employers of those employees. But could a franchisor's control over the franchisees themselves be...more

Don’t Read This: 2016 Workplace Law Year In Review

Reverse psychology isn’t the only explanation for the title of this article (although, if you’ve made it this far, it seems to have worked). No, another explanation is that 2016 was a very rough year for employers when it...more

A Fresh Take on the Horizontal Joint Employment Theory: Conditional Certification for Subway Employees Denied

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal court denies motion for conditional certification for a proposed class of employees working at separate Subway franchises. Earlier this year, the DOL’s Wage-Hour Division issued a...more

Court Grants Default Judgment Confirming Arbitration Award, With A Lesson On Jurisdiction

Choice Hotels filed an application to confirm an arbitration award of over $247,000 for the alleged breach of a franchise agreement by two defendants, which failed to timely commence construction of a hotel. The defendants...more

THANKSGIVING EDITION [FROM THE ARCHIVES]: Court Protects Quizno’s Franchise Turkey Trade Secrets

This Thanksgiving, Trade Secrets Watch is serving a delicious tale about protecting trade secrets in a franchising relationship. In 1994, Quizno’s entered into a franchise agreement with Robert Kampendahl, an...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Is It a Franchise? Yes and No

A federal court in Indiana made an interesting decision on whether a business relationship was a franchise. Wabash National Corp. is a famous maker of semitrailers. Wabash notified a dealer in Texas that its dealership was...more

Third Circuit affirms class certification in franchisee-as-employee class action

In a recent sharply divided 2-1 decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of class certification against commercial cleaning franchisor Jani-King in a lawsuit alleging that Jani-King’s franchisees were...more

Five Critical Wage and Hour Issues Impacting Employers

It is no secret that the wage and hour requirements found in the myriad of federal, state, and local laws and regulations present unique challenges to employers across the country. Those challenges are further complicated by...more

September 2016 Independent Contractor Misclassification and Compliance News Update

The past month’s judicial and administrative activity in the area of IC misclassification reflects the wide range of industries facing these types of claims: communications; cleaning services; transportation and delivery...more

Lessons Unlearned: Franchise and Independent Contractor Agreements Can Be Kiss of Death

The Third Circuit’s decision is a pointed reminder to franchisors, as well as businesses that use independent contractors, that the form of their agreements can either serve their legal interests or harm them in employee...more

EEOC Supports NLRB’s Joint-Employer Standard before DC Circ.

On September 14, 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit expressing support for the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) loosened standard of a joint employer....more

Motel 6 Sued By EEOC for Pregnancy Discrimination

New Orleans Motel Placed Employee on Unwanted Leave of Absence, Federal Agency Charges - NEW ORLEANS - G6 Hospitality, dba Motel 6, unlawfully placed a pregnant employee on leave solely because of the fact that she was...more

FRANCHISEE 101: How Far Do Earnings Projections Go?

A franchisor is allowed to make "financial performance representations" in its disclosure documents. These figures may project how much money a franchisee is likely to make and can play a critical part in the franchisor's...more

Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise to Pay $150,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Doughnut Franchise Manager Sexually Harassed Young Female Employees, Some in Their Teens, and Retaliated Against Worker Who Resisted Advances, Federal Agency Charged - NEW YORK - Hillcrest Marshall, Inc., which owns...more

Federal court certifies class of franchisee’s employees to pursue ostensible agency claims against franchisor: three takeaways

In Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp. et al.,[1] the United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently certified a class of more than 800 current and former employees of a McDonald’s franchisee in...more

Franchisor to Be Considered Statutory Employer? PA Supreme Court to Decide

The far-reaching implications of this decision could change the existing franchise business model. Is a franchisor a statutory employer of its franchisee’s employees? The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board thinks so,...more

Government Involvement in Noncompetes… Against a Sandwich Maker?! Jimmy John’s Slapped With Another Lawsuit, This Time Brought by...

Jimmy John’s can’t seem to escape the limelight. Last year, the company made headlines when employees hit it with a putative class action lawsuit seeking to invalidate their non-compete agreements. The District Court...more

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