Joint Employers

News & Analysis as of

AB 1897: California’s New Labor Contracting and Client Liability Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1897 thereby creating new liability for businesses that engage in labor contracting. Current California law prohibits employers from entering into labor or services...more

New California Law Imposes Joint Liability on Businesses and Contract Vendors for Wage Violations and Workers’ Compensation...

For companies using independent contractors in California, 2014 has been a difficult year, with several significant court decisions threatening the contractor model. In June, the Ninth Circuit rejected the parties’ choice of...more

Alter Egos: Where Fiction Becomes Labor Law And Vice Versa

Bruce Wayne. Clark Kent. Sir Percy Blakeney. In addition to being dashing literary figures, each of these men share a common trait – each has an alter ego. Donning a cape, the stoic Bruce Wayne becomes the intrepid Batman....more

Joint employer law: is the NLRB edging closer to the abyss? Takeaways from the Bloomberg webinar

Last week, Bloomberg BNA presented a webinar titled “The Current State of Joint Employer Law: How Can Both Employers and Unions prepare for the Future?” The three presenters were Barry Kearney, National Labor Relations...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - October 2014

New Laws Affecting California Employers - The 2014 legislative session is in the books, and it produced several new laws affecting employers in California, including: Private arbitration companies must provide...more

Jointly Controlled Employee is Eligible for FMLA Leave

The Seventh Circuit recently held that although an employee’s employer was too small to be covered by the FMLA (less than 50 employees), because the employee also provided services to a second company and together the two...more

New Law Makes Employers Liable for Temp Agency Violations

A new law that will soon go into effect in California will significantly change the legal relationship between temporary staffing agencies and the companies (“client employers”) that contract with them to use temporary...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

Court Sends Plaintiffs Back to the Locker Room Unhappy When It Denies Conditional Certification

In January 2014, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell raised eyebrows (and ire) when he announced that the league was considering eliminating the extra point after a touchdown. As Goodell put it, “the extra point is almost...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

Employment Law Summer Recap 2014: Part 10 of 11 – Derek Jeter and Big Macs: What Will Happen to Their Franchises Now?

Sadly, for this writer, Yankee legend Derek Jeter’s playing days have come to a close. This summer we were able to watch the Captain and five-time World Series Champion take the final swings of his illustrious career where he...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

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

Are You a Co-Employer? FMLA Joint Employer Liability Can Be Deadly

To be covered by the FMLA, a private employer must employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile area. If the employer doesn’t meet this threshold, it is not obligated to provide FMLA leave to its employees. However, an...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

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

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