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Franchise Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Franchise issues written by leading professionals.

Seventh Circuit Holds Footlong Settlement Falls Short

The Seventh Circuit’s rejection of a class action settlement in a case alleging consumer fraud against Subway for allegedly “shorting” customers of its Footlong sandwiches illustrates the pitfalls of settlements that provide...more

Restoring Common Sense To Determining Who is a Tipped Employee. Case Summary: Marsh v. J Alexander’s

by Buchalter on

In Marsh v. J. Alexander’s, The Ninth Circuit issued a fundamentally important opinion supporting the hospitality industry nationwide. Specifically, the Ninth Circuit rejected the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) disastrous...more

Pass the Beer: Craft Brew Distribution Law in the U.S.

by Lewitt Hackman on

How do Americans get their stouts, ales, pilsners and porters? Beer distribution, no matter the variety, is funneled through a highly regulated three-tier system: brewers at the top, distributors take their cut in the middle,...more

NRD Capital Management’s Strategy and Focus: Q&A With Susan Beth

by McGuireWoods LLP on

Susan Beth is chief operating officer of NRD Capital Management, an Atlanta-based private equity firm. Q: How would you describe NRD’s investment focus? Susan Beth: NRD Capital is focused on investing in multi-location,...more

California Courts Continue to Void Forum Selection Clauses in Franchise Agreements Under a Questionable Mutual Assent Theory

by Mulcahy LLP on

The Ninth Circuit and California Court of Appeal generally continue to render forum selection clauses in franchise agreements unenforceable. This has been a hot topic among franchise litigators and on our blog....more

Workplace Relations Risks to Franchisors and Holding Companies Rise

by K&L Gates LLP on

The Federal Parliament this week passed the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 (the Act), with some last minute amendments agreed to by the Government. This new legislation marks a significant change...more

Joint Employment Standards

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The last few years have seen a number of attempts to revise well-established joint employer standards under both the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. While many of the recent developments impact...more

Franchise Litigation Rising Over Dietary Considerations

by Lewitt Hackman on

Rising concerns over food sourcing and preparation is leading to more and more litigation for restaurants and franchises. Most of the lawsuits claim discrimination, which makes sense as many dietary strictures are rooted...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Squeezed at the Pump

by Lewitt Hackman on

Most dealership and franchise agreements require the franchisor's prior written consent to the transfer of a business from one franchisee to another. The new franchisee is often required to sign the franchisor's then-current...more

Drafting Matters: When Non-Competes And Renewal Provisions Collide

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

If a franchisor waives the non-compete provision in its current franchise agreement, can it enforce a non-compete when the franchise agreement is renewed? According to a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Selective Enforcement of Franchise Agreement Provisions

by Lewitt Hackman on

A franchisor's ability to set renewal terms can bind franchisees to terms in a later franchise agreement before the renewal agreement even exists. In a recent case, a franchisor could enforce a hypothetical non-compete...more

Gas Station Dealers: A Review of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act

by Lewitt Hackman on

So far in 2017 no federal or state court in California issued a published decision under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (“PMPA”) – despite the fact gasoline demand and consumption continue to rise. The reason for fewer...more

Un-Vacated: Nevada Supreme Court Confirms $6.7M Franchise Arbitration Award

In a decision that is very skinny on the facts, a unanimous Nevada Supreme Court recently un-vacated a significant arbitration award in a dispute over dental franchises. In Half Dental Franchise, LLC v. Houchin, 2017 WL...more

Six Ways Franchisors Can Reduce Joint Employer Liability Risk

by Lewitt Hackman on

In January 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that indirect control or the reserved right to control, even if unexercised, could be sufficient grounds to find a joint employer relationship between a...more

DOL Withdraws Guidance Letters Leaving Employers to Pick up the Pieces

On June 7, 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) guidance on independent contractors and joint employment issued during the Obama administration,...more

Cable Operators Reduced Franchise Fee to Municipalities Not Permitted - BB&K Attorneys Win in California Federal Court

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

For years, California cable operators have reduced the franchise fee paid to local governments by the amount paid to the California Public Service Commission. While a small amount for many communities, the deduction reduced...more

Disabling Code: Franchisors Should Ensure Digital Properties Are Accessible

by Lewitt Hackman on

Are we still in the dawn of the digital age, or have we moved on to mid-morning yet? Only time, and your company's web site and applications, will tell. Unfortunately, when it comes to website accessibility, it is still...more

Many California Cities May Not be Receiving Full Cable Franchise Fee

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

A decision from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California suggests that many California cities are receiving less than the full cable franchise fee to which they are entitled....more

Navigating The Private Right Of Action Under The California Franchise Investment Law

by Mulcahy LLP on

The California Franchise Investment Law (“CFIL”) regulates both the sale and disclosure of franchise opportunities within the state. The law was enacted to “provide each prospective franchisee with the information necessary...more

License to Sue? Court Rules That a Motor Vehicle Dealer Does Not Need a Dealer’s License to Bring a Statutory Claim for...

by Mulcahy LLP on

California’s motor vehicle code allows dealers to bring suit against manufacturers for terminating the dealer without good cause. See California Vehicle Code §§ 11713.3, 3060, 3061 and 3066. As currently written, the...more

7-Eleven versus the Town of Babylon: A Big Gulp of Red Tape

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

On July 7, 2017, Judge William G. Ford issued a decision in the case Matter of 7-Eleven, Inc. v. Town of Babylon, Supreme Court, Suffolk County, 2017 NY Slip Op 31467(U) , in which the Town was excoriated for its mishandling...more

D.C. Circuit Rejects Labor Board Joint Employer Determination

by Littler on

On August 4, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit refused to enforce a holding by the National Labor Relations Board (Board) that the Cable News Network (CNN) was a joint employer. In the...more

The Employment Law Authority - July/August 2017

THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR . . . OSHA’S YEARLY SUMMER HEAT CAMPAIGN - On June 26, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the return of its heat illness prevention campaign: Water. Rest. Shade....more

Save Local Business Act Would Clarify “Joint Employer” Liability Under FLSA and NLRA - Legislation Introduced in House of...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The “Save Local Business Act” — recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives — would provide much-needed clarification on the circumstances under which an entity can be liable as a joint employer under two federal...more

No Union Protection for Employees “Sick” Over No Paid Absences

Can employees protest a company sick leave policy with an internet meme that suggests the company’s food is not safe? Not according to a recent Eighth Circuit decision. MikLin (doing business as Jimmy John’s in Minnesota)...more

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