Franchisors

News & Analysis as of

“Would You Like Joint-Employer Liability With That?” McDonald’s Serves as a Cautionary Tale for Franchisors and Other Potential...

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel has investigated charges alleging McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s, USA, LLC, violated the rights of employees as a result of activities...more

Franchise arrangements pose legal problem for NLRB’s proposed joint-employer standard

The National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, who is recommending that the Board dramatically alter the joint-employer doctrine, admitted that his proposal may run into “a problem legally” when it comes to...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Avoid Liability for Acts and Incidents at Franchisees' Locations

There has been a lot of news lately about risks of franchisors being liable for acts and incidents at franchised locations. The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel recently announced he intends to claim...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Illusory Arbitration Provisions Not Enforceable in Indiana

In 2010, Steak 'n Shake, a franchisor of hamburger restaurants, adopted new pricing and promotion policies that required all franchisees to follow company mandated pricing on every menu item and to participate in all...more

Brand Standards Are for Everyone

Now more than ever, it is important to understand brand standards: why they are set; how they affect franchisors, franchisees, and customers; and what the boundaries of brand enforcement policies should be....more

Businesses Anxiously Await NLRB Decision on Joint Employer Standard

Many are up in arms following a memorandum issued by the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) authorizing employees of a national restaurant chain to argue that the franchisor is jointly responsible...more

Franchisors Are Not Joint Employers

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) caused an earthquake in the field of franchising with the General Counsel’s announcement July 29, 2014, of complaints against McDonald’s USA, LLC....more

Fifth Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Favor of Franchisor Not Named in Charge of Discrimination

Names play an important role for an employee who, in filing a charge of discrimination, must satisfy Title VII’s naming requirement. This is because an employee who fails to properly name defendants in a charge of...more

Fifth Circuit Allows Title VII Suit Against Franchisor to Proceed Even Though It Was Not Named in EEOC Charge

In order to sue under Title VII, plaintiffs must first file an administrative charge of discrimination against their employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In many cases, the charge misnames the actual...more

Oklahoma Chicken Express Franchiser to Pay $15,000 to Settle EEOC National Origin Discrimination Suit

Restaurants Exploited Class of Hispanic Cooks by Failing to Pay Overtime, Federal Agency Charged - OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - NSC Chicken, LP, dba Chicken Express, will pay $15,000 and furnish other relief to settle a...more

6 Quick Lessons from Jimmy John’s POS Data Breach

According to public releases by Jimmy John’s (the sandwich shop franchisor) and Signature Systems (the point of sale (POS) system provider for 216 Jimmy John’s locations), malware was installed on those POS systems through...more

Domino’s Delivers Key Ruling in Favor of Franchisors

The California Supreme Court recently issued an important victory for franchisors, finding that a franchisor does not stand in an employment or agency relationship with the franchisee and its employees for purposes of holding...more

Employment Flash - September 2014

In This Issue: - SEC Pays First Whistleblower Award to Audit and Compliance Professional - Supreme Court Allows Affordable Care Act Contraceptives Religious Exemption - EEOC Adopts New Pregnancy...more

Joint Employers Under NLRB Law

A. Introduction - Over the last few weeks, there has been a great deal of discussion in the legal media regarding the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) General Counsel’s (GC) argument to the Board, that...more

Restaurant Industry Newsletter - September 2014

Restaurant Franchisors Targeted by NLRB and DOL for Claims They are Joint Employers of Franchisees' Employees- Restaurant franchisors are facing efforts from both the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the U.S....more

Ninth Circuit Weighs in on When Franchisors May Be Liable for Franchisees' Unlawful Text Messaging Campaigns

In Thomas v. Taco Bell Corp.,[3] a franchisee association planned a promotion in which text messages were sent to 17,000 people in the Chicago area to promote a local sweepstakes contest. The lower court dismissed the case...more

Twelve Tips for Franchisors to Reduce Joint Employer Risks Under Today's Legal Standards

Franchise agreement recitals declaring your franchisee to be an independent contractor, not an employee, are not dispositive! Until now, the spotlight has never shined so brightly on franchising and, specifically, on...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Forum Selection Clauses May Be Enforceable

A recent decision in Allegra Holdings, LLC v. Davis demonstrates that courts are enforcing forum selection clauses in favor of out-of-state franchisors and against in-state franchisees, notwithstanding franchise anti-waiver...more

NLRB Pushing for a Joint Employer Liability Model for Franchisors?

In a move that has caused great concern in the franchising industry, in pending cases filed by employees against McDonald's franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has authorized the filing of complaints...more

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

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

California Employment Law Notes

Franchisor Is Not Liable For Franchisee's Alleged Sexual Harassment Of Its Employee - Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC, 2014 WL 4236175 (Cal. S. Ct. 2014) - Taylor Patterson was hired by Sui Juris (a franchisee...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

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