Franchisors

News & Analysis as of

FRANCHISOR 101: Outdated FDDs and Unregistered Franchises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

Are you Ready for the Extension of the Unfair Contract Terms Regime to Franchise Agreements?

Since 2010, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and the ASIC Act have prohibited and made void terms in standard form contracts with consumers that were unfair. From 12 November 2016, the Unfair Contract Terms regime (UCT...more

Franchisor to Be Considered Statutory Employer? PA Supreme Court to Decide

The far-reaching implications of this decision could change the existing franchise business model. Is a franchisor a statutory employer of its franchisee’s employees? The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board thinks so,...more

Franchising Update

Franchising is set to undergo change following the Australian Federal election. The Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment recently recommended further amendments to the Franchising Code of Conduct to allow...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Reducing the Risks of Joint Employer Liability

With the risk of franchisors being jointly liable for obligations to franchisee employees, and franchisees exposed to unionization of employees if their franchisor is a joint employer, we present this list of 68 steps every...more

Employment Law - June 2016

OSHA's Electronic Submission Rule Finalized - Why it matters - Three years in the making, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) finalized a new rule mandating the electronic submission of injury...more

Chorley Enterprises, Inc. v. Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.: Arbitration Provisions in Maryland Franchise Agreements

Maryland law requires franchisors include a provision in their franchise agreements that preserves the franchisee’s ability to litigate certain claims in court rather than in arbitration. In Chorley Enterprises, Inc. v....more

FRANCHISOR 101: State Bills re Franchisor Joint Employer Liability

With franchisors deeply concerned about joint liability for franchisee employees, more states are passing laws trying to prevent that from happening. Here are some states and measures that have passed: Texas enacted...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act Presents Opportunity And Challenges To Franchisors

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 ("DTSA") was signed into law on May 11, 2016 following very strong bipartisan Congressional support. The DTSA creates a new federal civil private right of action for misappropriation of...more

FRANCHISEE 101: What to Do About Franchisor’s Harmful New Policies

Franchisees aren't always excited when their franchisor introduces a new policy. But if a new policy overreaches and might doom a franchisee's business, can it be stopped before it starts?...more

The McDonald’s NLRB Case: At The Intersection Of Hot Legal And Political Issues

Despite popular belief, the fate of fast food franchises around the country does not rest in the hands of Lauren Esposito, an unelected administrative judge for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Whatever decision...more

Loyalty Programs: All Fun and Games Until Someone Wants You to Buy Them a Harrier Jump Jet

In-house counsel should consider the myriad legal issues that can affect a consumer loyalty program, including numerous consumer, franchisee and regulatory issues....more

The impact on franchising of the new European Directive for the protection of trade secrets

On 14 April 2016, after a lengthy gestation period, the European Parliament finally approved a new European Union Trade Secrets Directive. This will be the basis for new harmonised laws to protect secret and valuable...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Wins, Losses & Lessons in Joint Employer Liability

As joint employer liability continues to develop, plaintiffs seeking deep pockets continue to claim, with some success, that franchisors are joint employers, responsible for actions of their franchisees' employees. In April,...more

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly...more

Improving Franchise Laws

Will California’s recent overhaul of its franchise relationship law lead to a proliferation of state franchise relationship laws? I doubt it. As I’ve written elsewhere, my guess is that the California law represents a...more

FRANCHISEE 101: Purposes and Limits of Non-Compete Clauses

Many franchise agreements have "non-compete clauses", which state that after termination or expiration of the franchise agreement, the ex-franchisee may not operate a business that is similar to or that would compete with the...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Protecting Interests in Preliminary Injunctions

A franchisor in a termination dispute with a franchisee may request a preliminary injunction to force the franchisee to immediately stop operating the franchised business and using the franchisor's trademarks and intellectual...more

Michigan Franchisors Not Joint Employers of Employees of Franchisees Absent Agreement

On March 22, 2016, Michigan joined Wisconsin, Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee by amending its Franchise Investment Law to make it clear that unless otherwise specifically provided for in the franchise agreement, a franchisee...more

Franchising Update

While dispute resolution clauses may be straightforward for domestic franchise agreements as a result of the Franchising Code, dispute resolution clauses can be one of the most neglected provisions in international master...more

FRANCHISOR 101: The Importance of Arbitration Provisions

Though some of the more important terms may appear early in a franchise agreement, some key terms placed near the end - the portion of the agreement that is often called "boilerplate" - may determine who wins or loses a legal...more

Rulings Pose Obstacles to Franchisors Seeking to Stop Wrongful Trademark Use

A series of recent Circuit Court decisions has made it more difficult for a franchisor to enjoin a former franchisee from using the franchisor’s federally registered trademarks after the franchise agreement has been...more

Franchisor Protected from Unfair Competition, Not All Competition

The fine line between protecting your system's legitimate interests and trying to eliminate a competitor can be hard to define in advance. With social media so important for consumer businesses, the line is even more...more

FranCast: Good news for franchisors: Ontario Court of Appeal dismisses Pet Valu class action

The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 1250264 Ontario Inc. v Pet Valu Canada Inc.1 is good news for both Pet Valu Canada Inc. and Ontario franchisors....more

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