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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

NLRB Office of General Counsel Alleges Franchisor Is Liable for Claims of Its Franchisees' Employees

On December 19, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) Office of General Counsel took another step forward in its effort to erase the line between franchisors and franchisees. In a controversial move, the Office of...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

Carving Out Small

States have been vested with the responsibility to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages since the repeal of Prohibition. In carrying out this authority, many states have implemented a three...more

SBA Requests Comments on Franchise Loan Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is requesting comments from the public on all aspects of its franchise lending program. The SBA issued its notice and request for comment December 8, 2014....more

FRANCHISEE 101: Independent Contractors or Employees?

In Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corporation, another recent delivery driver case that arose in California, Affinity Logistics' drivers claimed they were employees and had been misclassified as independent contractors. The trial...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

Private Equity Was Active in Franchising in 2014

In the last year, private equity continued to play an important role in franchising. Private equity offers a franchisor with a growing franchise system a promising pathway to rapid growth. An investment group can assist a...more

North Carolina Beer Distribution Agreements

In This Presentation: - The Choice: Brewery Self Distribution or Wholesaler Distribution - The Beer Franchise Law - Goals of Distribution Agreement - Checklist for Agreement - Excerpt from...more

Are You A Joint Employer? (Infographic)

Think supply chain. Think franchisor. Think private equity. For all these types of businesses, the rules of the game are changing. For a host of reasons – among them cost, efficiency, liability and risk...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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