Joint Employers

News & Analysis as of

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

Retailer - Fall 2014

Counting the Cost of Payroll Cards: Are they Worth it for Employers? Retailers, as well as other employers, have grown to rely on payroll cards to compensate employees who may not have bank accounts. What are the legal risks...more

California Supreme Court Overturns 2012 Domino's Decision

On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court reversed a 2012 Court of Appeal decision in Patterson v. Domino's Pizza, LLC. The lower court held that franchise operating systems, like Domino's, deprive franchisees of the...more

JOINT EMPLOYER: When is a company considered the employer of another company’s employees?

During the last several months, a number of government agencies and courts have taken the position that a company can be considered the employer of another company’s employees for purposes of employment law obligations. Most...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

Washington Supreme Court Decision May Spur Joint Employer Class Actions

In a matter of first impression, the Washington Supreme Court has held that the "joint employer doctrine" is a viable theory under Washington's Minimum Wage Act (WMWA), and adopted the Fair Labor Standards Act's economic...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

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

Expansion of the Joint Employer Standard May Challenge Manufacturers

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a complaint against McDonald’s USA, LLC and is claiming that the franchisor may be jointly responsible for the potential labor violations of its franchise owners because...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

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

Would You Like Fries . . . and an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with That?

Mainstream media, attorneys, and business owners are discussing the meaning and impact of a two paragraph press release issued on July 29 by the Office of the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That...more

Activity Before NLRB and WA Supreme Court Highlights Joint Employer Risk

A recent announcement by the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel and a Washington Supreme Court decision underscore the risks of potential joint employer liability...more

Big Mac Attack: Is the Franchisor a Joint Employer?

On July 29, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a brief statement that could turn labor law in the world of franchising upside down. The NLRB’s General Counsel stated that it plans to go forward with a...more

Fifth Circuit Protects Franchisors, For Now

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board General Counsel’s announcement that he intends to pursue unfair labor practice charges against a franchisor, franchisors are on high alert. With the NLRB considering an...more

Two All-Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions, on a Sesame Seed Bun – NLRB Rocks Franchise World by...

The National Labor Relations Board is attempting to expand the reach of the National Labor Relations Act once again – this time the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel authorized formal complaints against McDonald’s USA,...more

Food, Folks, and Franchise-Wide Liability: NLRB Signals Intent to Pound Square Joint Employer Peg Into Round Franchise Hole

A big part of what makes the franchise model of business attractive to small business owners is the opportunity to own and operate their own business, but with their entrepreneurial risk backstopped by a known regional or...more

NLRB Challenges Franchise Model in Complaint Against McDonald’s

Last week, in an unprecedented shift away from long-standing Board precedent, Richard F. Griffin, Jr., General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), asserted that McDonald’s, USA LLC (McDonald’s USA) — the...more

McDonald’s and Its Franchisees: The General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board Asserts That McDonald’s, USA, LLC Is a...

On July 31, 2014, I participated in a panel discussion on the Al Jazeera America television program “Inside Story,” hosted by Ray Suarez, regarding the recent determination by the general counsel (GC) for the National Labor...more

NLRB Moves Toward New Standard to Hold Franchisors Are Joint Employers of Their Franchisees' Employees

Over the last two years fast-food workers have engaged in walkouts and other activities protesting their wages and seeking an increase to $15/hr. Numerous unfair labor practice charges have been filed with the National Labor...more

Employer Identity Crisis: NLRB's GC Dramatically Expands Joint Employer Doctrine to Include Franchisors

Employer Status for Franchisors - Franchisors typically do not control hiring discipline, termination, or other employment decisions made at locations operated by independent franchises. Can they nonetheless be...more

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