Franchisors

News & Analysis as of

FRANCHISOR 101: Recent “Franchisor as Joint Employer” Developments

In the last month, McDonald's settled a class action with employees of a franchisee, and a new President of the United States was elected. These two events have something in common with regard to franchising: they are...more

Catch-22 for Franchisors: The Joint Employment Dilemma

As government agencies steadily expand the concept of joint employment, franchisors increasingly find themselves in a difficult position. Since August 2015, when the NLRB ruled in Browning-Ferris that entities with the...more

Your Own Agreements Can Be Your Worst Enemy in IC Misclassification Cases

Companies that use independent contractors (ICs) typically require ICs to sign a contractor agreement prepared by the company. But, if it is drafted like the one reviewed in late September by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the...more

Franchising Update

Franchising has undergone several significant changes in the last quarter. Firstly, the introduction of the Unfair Terms Legislation will no doubt impact the documentation used by franchisors. Secondly, franchisors operating...more

Top Takeaways: 2016 American Bar Association Forum on Franchising

Marc Lieberstein - Marc Lieberstein, Kilpatrick Townsend partner in the firm’s New York office, was honored to participate in the “Mine is Better Than Yours! The Risks and Rewards of Conducting Comparative Advertising”...more

Franchisors Should Consider Signing a Conditional Lease Assignment Rather Than a Franchisee’s Lease

In Franchise & High Properties, LLC v. Happy’s Franchise, LLC, a 2015 decision issued by the Court of Appeals in Michigan, the franchisor, Happy’s Pizza Franchise, LLC, signed a five-year lease for the commercial space to be...more

Joint / Related / Common Employers: Are You at Risk

In recent years, a number of cases have emerged in both Canada and the United States discussing new implications for companies deemed to be joint and related employers. Cases both from the United States and across Canada will...more

Are you a joint employer?

Are you an employer who uses temporary employees, staffing agencies or independent contractors? Use of such contingent or contract workers is not unusual and may be necessary for your operations. If you are in that...more

Fast Food Franchisor may be on the Fast Track to a Decision Concerning Joint Employer Status

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB’) recently issued several precedent-breaking decisions that have the potential to expose franchisors to joint employer liability across the county. On October 12, 2016, a new...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Original Content Needed to Protect Ops Manuals

An important part of the franchise system is the confidential operating manual. Many franchisors claim protection of operating manuals under the law of trade secrets and copyright. Keeping the contents confidential is...more

Correcting an Accidental Franchisor Violation

What’s a franchise? Franchise registration and disclosure laws define a “franchise” more broadly than people generally realize. A company may be franchising without knowing it. The “license” agreement may have been...more

BC Finalizes Franchise Laws

British Columbia has released the anticipated regulations to the previously enacted Franchises Act (BC). The Franchises Act (BC) will come into force on February 1, 2017, at which time British Columbia will be the sixth...more

Court Misses Chance To Clarify Conflict Between Franchise, Employment Law – But Dissent Gets It Right

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently dealt a blow to franchisors everywhere in Williams v. Jani-King of Philadelphia, Inc. Granted, the court only affirmed a ruling that the case can be litigated as a...more

Let’s Eat: New Calorie Disclosure Requirements Coming to an Ontario Restaurant Near You

Big changes are coming to Ontario’s restaurant landscape. As of January 1, 2017, the Healthy Menu Choices Act (Act) will require food service chains with 20 or more locations in Ontario to disclose calorie information for...more

Canada: Time for Submissions Soon Expiring in Ontario under Changing Workplace Review

As previously reported, the Special Advisors to the Government of Ontario, Canada released their interim report on July 27, 2016 on ways in which the Ontario Labour Relations Act (“LRA”) and Ontario Employment Standards Act,...more

Special Edition: President of International Franchise Association (IFA) Visits Lewitt Hackman

For more than 55 years, the International Franchise Association has been committed to improving methods and business practices for all participants in franchising - whether working with the Federal Trade Commission, lobbying...more

FRANCHISEE 101: How Far Do Earnings Projections Go?

A franchisor is allowed to make "financial performance representations" in its disclosure documents. These figures may project how much money a franchisee is likely to make and can play a critical part in the franchisor's...more

Franchising: Is it For You?

As a business owner, you are constantly looking to expand your operations. One option is franchising. It sure works for Dairy Queen and UPS, so why not for you? Like all business models, however, franchising has its cons....more

NY Attorney General Schneiderman Declares “War” on Non-Compete Agreements That He Perceives as Overbroad

In an initiative that is virtually without precedent in New York, in the past two months (June 15, June 22 and August 4) Attorney General Schneiderman announced agreements with three separate companies in three different...more

Subway, DOL Partner to Improve FLSA Compliance

Last week, the Subway restaurant chain entered into a landmark partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) aimed at improving Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) compliance among the chain's 27,000 franchisees. The DOL...more

Should Franchisors Become BFFs with WHD?

Expanding upon a relationship started in 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division and Subway announced a voluntary compliance agreement earlier this week. Billed as an effort at increasing Subway’s social...more

Update For The Franchise Industry: Is Your Brand Manager Creating A “Joint Employment” Relationship With Your Franchisees’...

For several years now, franchisors have been the subject of attention in the labor and employment law arenas, and new rules and regulations are challenging franchise relationships in a number of ways. One increasingly...more

Federal court certifies class of franchisee’s employees to pursue ostensible agency claims against franchisor: three takeaways

In Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp. et al.,[1] the United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently certified a class of more than 800 current and former employees of a McDonald’s franchisee in...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Outdated FDDs and Unregistered Franchises

The California Department of Business Oversight ("DBO") recently issued three Orders against franchisors for violating California's franchise laws....more

FLSA Compliance For Franchises…and the Joint Employer Tightrope

In May, the long awaited Department of Labor’s revisions to the FLSA’s white collar exemption rules were published and have many employers, including franchisors, concerned with compliance. John Skelton, a partner in our...more

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