Franchises

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Lessons from Recent NLRB Actions

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel recently investigated allegations against various McDonald’s franchises and its franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC. The charges were that the company...more

EEOC Sues Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisee for Religious Discrimination

Company Refused to Hire Applicant Because of His Religion, Federal Agency Charged - ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Citi Brands, LLC, a franchisee of Dunkin' Donuts, violated federal law by refusing to hire a job applicant who is a...more

Employers Beware: McDonald’s Memorandum Suggests That the NLRB Intends to Loosen the Standard for When Legally Separate Entities...

In late July, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB” or “Board”) issued a memorandum in a group of cases against operators of several McDonald’s franchises. The memorandum is significant...more

Franchisor Not Liable for Sexual Harassment of Franchisee's Employee under FEHA

In Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court took on the issue of whether a franchisor is an "employer" of its franchisee's employees under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") and therefore...more

Did You Know…California Supreme Court Rules – No Franchisor Vicarious Liability

The California Supreme Court recently held in Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (Cal. Aug. 28, 2014) that a franchisor could not be held vicariously liable under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

Business Law Newsletter - Septermber 2014

In This Issue: - Monkeying around with Copyright Laws - Who can Own a Copyright? - Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed - The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia -...more

Considering the Eminent Domain of Sports Franchises

In a thought-provoking article, Anthony F. Della Pelle considers the interesting question of whether the City of Los Angeles could simply “take” the LA Clippers via eminent domain. One might typically associate California’s...more

California Supreme Court Clarifies When a Franchisee's Employees Can Bring Employment Claims Against the Franchisor in Taylor...

In Taylor Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, the California Supreme Court restricted the ability of a franchisee’s employees to sue the franchisor based on theories of vicarious liability and the theory that the franchisor was...more

Popeye's Chicken Franchisee to Pay $25,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discirmination Lawsuit

Longview Fast Food Restaurant Refused to Hire HIV-Positive Applicant Despite His Qualifications, Federal Agency Charged - TYLER, Texas - Famous Chicken of Shreveport, L.L.C. a Popeye's Chicken franchisee, has agreed to...more

Domino’s Pizza is Not Vicariously Liable for Acts of a Franchise Employee Where Domino’s Lacks Control Over Employee, Says...

Domino’s Pizza This week, the California Supreme Court held that Domino’s Pizza was not liable for the torts of an employee of a franchise because Domino’s had no contractual or operational control over the employee. The...more

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC: Franchisors Are Not Vicariously Liable as “Employers” or “Principals” for Their Franchisees’...

In a significant win for franchisors, the California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that although Domino’s “imposes comprehensive and meticulous standards for marketing its trademarked brand and operating its franchises in a uniform...more

Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed

Virginia’s public policy in favor of freedom of contract is well established. It may be most conspicuously evidenced by the Supreme Court of Virginia’s increasingly narrow construction of post-contract employment restrictions...more

Who's in Control Here? California's Supreme Court Establishes New Standards for Potential Franchisor Liability for Employee Tort...

On August 28, 2014, the Supreme Court of California, in Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, decided whether a franchisor was entitled to summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims that the franchisor was vicariously liable for...more

Landmark Ruling: Franchisor Not Liable Absent Employment Related Control

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in favor of Domino's Pizza and all business format franchisors that do business in California. In Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, ---P.3d---, 2014 WL...more

McDonald’s and Uber: Too Much Control Over Employees

There have been some seismic movements of late in the labor and employment field. First, McDonald’s was found to be a “joint employer” with its franchisees by the National Labor Relations Board. As widely reported, this...more

Patterson v. Domino’s: California Supreme Court Lends Important Guidance on Franchisor Liability

Taylor Patterson claimed that Domino’s, as the franchisor of thousands of pizza stores across the nation, should be held responsible for sexual harassment she experienced from a fellow employee over a two-week period when she...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

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