Franchises

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The Battle to Keep the "Mister Softee" Brand from Melting Away

The sight of a Mister Softee ice cream truck is a reminder that summer is here, and its jingle draws children to run and grab a cone to enjoy. Mister Softee trucks are sprinkled around 15 states, with over 600 trucks operated...more

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

NLRB Expands the Boundaries of Employee Protest; Limits Employers’ Discipline Rights

Last week, the NLRB addressed whether, and to what extent, employees can criticize their employer in public. In MikLin Enterprises, the Board held 2-1 that a Jimmy John’s franchisee violated Section 8(a)(3) of the National...more

California About to Make Franchise Terminations Harder

A bill on the verge of becoming law in California will sharply narrow the grounds for termination of franchises in that state, and may require re-examination of the terms of franchise agreements. Existing California law bars...more

Two Important NLRB Decisions: When Franchisees/Franchisers are a Joint Employer and Forming Micro Bargaining Units in Retail

On July 29, 2014, the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Richard Griffin, authorized NLRB Regional Directors to issue complaints in 43 unfair labor practices cases against McDonald’s USA LLC. The...more

Franchising In India: Key Considerations For Franchisors Seeking To Grow Their Brands

India recently staged the largest free democratic election in world history, bringing to power the National Democratic Alliance, led by the Bharatiya Janata Par ty, and with it a fresh sense of optimism about India’s economic...more

Flash No. 41: How The NLRB and 2 All-Beef Patties Resonate with Trucking

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) General Counsel’s July 31 announcement that he will name McDonald’s U.S.A. LLC as a joint employer in dozens of unfair labor practice cases filed on behalf of employees of...more

NLRB is Poised to Find "Joint Employer" Relationships Just About Everywhere

As we have previously reported, on July 29, Richard Griffin, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, announced his intention to charge McDonald's USA, LLC, as a "joint employer" with its franchisees in a series...more

National Labor Relations Board’s Threatened Expansion of Joint Employer Doctrine Would Increase Employment Law Risks for US...

To bring their full financial and operational expertise to portfolio companies, private equity firms frequently adopt an active approach to overseeing their investments. However, the greater a firm’s involvement in the...more

Focused on Franchise Law - August 2014

FRANCHISOR 101: NLRB McDonald's Ruling May Put Crimp on Franchising - On July 29, 2014, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stated that McDonald's could be held jointly liable with its...more

Would You Like Fries . . . and an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with That?

Mainstream media, attorneys, and business owners are discussing the meaning and impact of a two paragraph press release issued on July 29 by the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That...more

Activity Before NLRB and WA Supreme Court Highlights Joint Employer Risk

A recent announcement by the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel and a Washington Supreme Court decision underscore the risks of potential joint employer liability...more

Big Mac Attack: Is the Franchisor a Joint Employer?

On July 29, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a brief statement that could turn labor law in the world of franchising upside down. The NLRB’s General Counsel stated that it plans to go forward with a...more

Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an...more

Two All-Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions, on a Sesame Seed Bun – NLRB Rocks Franchise World by...

The National Labor Relations Board is attempting to expand the reach of the National Labor Relations Act once again – this time the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel authorized formal complaints against McDonald’s USA,...more

Food, Folks, and Franchise-Wide Liability: NLRB Signals Intent to Pound Square Joint Employer Peg Into Round Franchise Hole

A big part of what makes the franchise model of business attractive to small business owners is the opportunity to own and operate their own business, but with their entrepreneurial risk backstopped by a known regional or...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 183

In This Issue: - Fourth Circuit Upholds Summary Judgment For Manufacturer In Exclusive Dealing Case: Despite being one of two manufacturers that control 99% of the market, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. has...more

The GPMemorandum, Issue 182

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Holds Company Can Sue Competitor For Unfair Competition Even If It Complies With FDA Labeling Regulations: In an 8-0 decision announced on June 12, 2014, the Supreme Court held...more

Update on Orozco v. Plackis: was franchisor’s principal the employer of franchisor’s employee? Fifth Circuit reverses – 3...

We reported in September 2013 about Orozco v. Plackis, a case out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in which the plaintiff (a cook in a franchised restaurant) filed an action under the Fair...more

Mister Softee vs. Master Softee: Non-Compete & Trademark Ice Cream Fight in the SDNY

Dimitrios Tsirkos first became a Mister Softee franchisee in the mid 1980’s. To be clear, we are talking about the ice cream truck business. Over the years, Tsirkos entered several franchise agreements with Mister Softee and...more

NLRB Challenges Franchise Model in Complaint Against McDonald’s

Last week, in an unprecedented shift away from long-standing Board precedent, Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), asserted that McDonald’s, USA LLC (McDonald’s USA) — the...more

Health Care Franchises Paving The Way For The Growing Health Care Market

Health care is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the US today. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the demand for health services will dramatically increase. Health Care Franchising...more

Employer Identity Crisis: NLRB's GC Dramatically Expands Joint Employer Doctrine to Include Franchisors

Employer Status for Franchisors - Franchisors typically do not control hiring discipline, termination, or other employment decisions made at locations operated by independent franchises. Can they nonetheless be...more

NLRB Will Charge McDonald’s as “Joint Employer” For Franchisee Labor Violations

In a move with far-reaching ramifications for all businesses that license their brands to independent contractors including franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced on July 29, 2014 that it has...more

Franchisors Not Lovin’ It: NLRB Announces McDonald’s Named Joint Employer with Franchisees

On July 29, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel announced that McDonald’s, USA, LLC will be named as a “joint employer” in at least 43 cases alleging unfair labor practices against...more

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