News & Analysis as of

New Law Requires Franchisors to Revise Agreement Forms Used in Australia

Australia recently enacted legislation that will extend an existing regime restricting “unfair contract terms” in consumer contracts to standard form small business contracts, which will include most franchise agreements and...more

Pizza franchisee jailed for wage violations

Most employers know that failing to pay minimum wage or overtime pay to their employees can lead to serious consequences. When employees file lawsuits claiming unpaid overtime wages, they can bring in their co-workers,...more

A Wake Up Call To Franchisors: The Big Mac Attack

In the wake of recent activity by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning unfair labor practice charges against McDonald’s franchisees and franchisor McDonald’s, USA, LLC, coined by some as the “Big Mac Attack”,...more

FranCast Series: What does the new joint employer standard mean for franchising? Messrs. Griffin and Weil speak

In our last FranCast on this evolving topic, we surmised that the NLRB would not likely seek to impose joint employer status on conventionally structured franchise systems, despite the Browning Ferris decision and the highly...more

Franchises Act soon to become law in British Columbia: key provisions for franchisors

British Columbia’s legislature has completed the third reading of Bill 38-2015, the BC Franchises Act. Its quick movement – the bill was introduced to the legislature on October 5 - is the culmination of work that began...more

Hospitality, Food and Beverage Industry Newsletter

We are pleased to share the first edition of our Hospitality, Food and Beverage Industry Newsletter with you. This Newsletter addresses important recent legal developments affecting the hospitality and restaurant industry and...more

EEOC Nationwide Disability Discrimination Case Against Autozone to Proceed

Court Rejects Auto Parts Retailer's Request to Second-Guess EEOC Investigation - CHICAGO - A federal district court has denied a request by auto parts retailer AutoZone to limit the scope of a nationwide disability...more

Who Are My Employees?

The legal landscape for employers is changing. Led by the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”), there is a growing trend to hold employers accountable, not only for their own employees, but also for the employees of...more

NLRB Discusses Joint Employment for the First Time Since Browning-Ferris

The National Labor Relations Board, in one of its first applications of the Browning-Ferris decision, gave hope to non-union contracting entities engaged in franchising and subcontracting relationships. After an extensive...more

Not Just A Union Issue: NLRB Decision Changing the Test For Joint Employer Status Affects Non-Union Employers, Too

As the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board"), traditionally the arbiter of all issues involving labor and unions, continues to broaden its reach into the world of non-union employers, it has begun to dismantle...more

The Employment Law Authority - September/October 2015

On October 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning new rules for extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: October 2015

Labor and Employment - Plaintiff Wage and Hour Lawsuits Continue to Climb - Wage and hour litigation has become what some call the new "workplace revolution." Data from the Federal Judicial Center indicates that...more

Will the ‘joint employment’ concept take hold in Australia?

When does a person who works within a business, but isn’t on the ‘books’ of the business owner, become an employee? This issue has been litigated many times in Australia but, to date, courts have been reluctant to embrace the...more

The New California Franchise Relations Act: A Game Changer for Franchisors Operating in California

California will notch another franchise regulatory distinction come January 1, 2016: home to the toughest franchisee-protection law in the nation. On October 11, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill amending the...more

The Contours of a Franchisor’s Vicarious Liability

In a ruling that reflects a clear understanding of the distinction between the roles of the franchisor and franchisee, the Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently held that Domino’s was not vicariously liable for the acts of...more

Federal Labor Officials Step Into the Lion’s Den

Two top federal labor officials engaged in a spirited dialog with two franchise lawyer moderators at the American Bar Association’s annual Forum on Franchising in New Orleans on October 16.  The topic: whether the National...more

Business Litigation Reporter October 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Strategies to Cope with New NLRB Joint Employer Ruling

On August 27, 2015 the NLRB expanded its joint-employer test, which union supporters hope will apply to franchising. See January 2015 blog entry for background. In a 3-2 decision on partisan lines, the...more

Former NLRB Member Reemphasizes Confusion Created by Browning-Ferris Decision

Successful businesses expand. Sometimes they even franchise themselves, offering opportunities for other small businesses to take root. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) decision has expanded liability for small...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Pizza Hut Franchisee Waived Arbitration Right

The world’s largest Pizza Hut franchisee, NPC International, Inc. (“NPC”), which operates more than 1200 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, was sued in federal district court by employees in five separate collective...more

Religious Institutions: October 2015

Timely Topics - A non-compete clause, covenant not to compete or restrictive covenant is a contract provision under which one party agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession, trade or business in competition...more

British Columbia (Canada) Introduces Uniform Franchise Legislation, Could Take Effect in 2016

The British Columbia (Canada) government has introduced a bill that will make it the sixth province in Canada to regulate franchising along with the provinces of Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Prince Edward...more

Parent Companies Ready for Labor Pains? NLRB Adopts New Joint Employer Standard

The end of August saw the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issue a highly-anticipated opinion in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc.[1] In that opinion, the NLRB broadened the standard for what it considers...more

How the NLRB Spent Its Summer — Could Be a Chilly Autumn

For those of us in the employment field attempting to recover from the languor of long summer days, it’s time to catch up and ask what the NLRB has been up to during the dog days. The answer – a lot. And so we take this...more

A Legislative El Niño for California?: New 2016 Employment Laws for the State’s Private Sector Employers

Experts are predicting a 95% chance of heavier-than-usual seasonal rainfall this year in Southern California based on the phenomenon known as “El Niño.”  Did the California Legislature and its Governor produce a comparable...more

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