Tag Archives: McDonald’s

Federal Labor Officials Step Into the Lion’s Den

Two top federal labor officials engaged in a spirited dialog with two franchise lawyer moderators at the American Bar Association’s annual Forum on Franchising in New Orleans on October 16.  The topic: whether the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will fundamentally change the franchise industry. The program had dramatic potential.  NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin and Dr. David Weil, Administrator of the Wage & Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, faced a lion’s den of more than 800 lawyers representing franchisors and franchisees, none of whom want to see franchisors deemed to be joint employers of franchisee employees. …


Franchisors Vulnerable to Unfair Labor Practice Allegations

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently broadened the definition of joint employer.  In a 3-2 decision, the NLRB adopted the joint employment standard recommended by the NLRB’s General Counsel.  The ruling was issued August 27, 2015, in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. (BFI). The Browning-Ferris case did not involve franchising, but it will have an important impact on franchising.  Franchisors are now more likely to be deemed joint employers of their franchisees’ employees for purposes of compliance with the National Labor Relations Act.  This is a shock to the franchise industry.

The Largest Global Franchise Brands Are U.S. Restaurants

Franchising fared respectably in a recent rating of the most valuable worldwide brands across all industries.  McDonald’s was rated among the ten most valuable worldwide brands in Interbrand’s 15th annual Best Global Brands report.  While the report was top-heavy with technology companies, headed by Apple and Google, franchise brands held their own.  And these top franchise brands are all U.S. restaurants.  In addition to McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks and Pizza Hut were among the 100 most valuable global brands.  Here are the ratings of these companies and Interbrand’s valuations: McDonald’s was in the top 10 at number 9, down from number …


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.  The NLRB General Counsel (GC) authorized the issuance of complaints of alleged labor law violations against the franchisor as the joint employer with its franchisees.  Those who brought the complaints were employees of franchisees. The prospect of being jointly liable with a franchisee for a franchisee’s labor law violations is shocking to franchisors.  The NLRB GC’s approach is a radical change from more than 30 years of settled law that respects the distinct …


Franchisees Are Not “Large Employers”

The City of Seattle, Washington, approved a $15 minimum wage law June 2, 2014, the highest minimum wage law in the U.S.  Hourly workers deserve reasonable pay.  And if there is no movement on a change in the federal rate, then I understand the desire of workers and unions to push for higher wages at the local level. But Seattle did go too far in one disturbing respect. The new law views franchisees as large employers simply because they are part of a franchise system. This means that an individual franchisee with a small number of employees may be required to …


Welcome to Franchise Alchemy

Welcome to Franchise Alchemy, a blog that magically transforms franchise business and law news into golden concepts.  Of course, we make no promises about the gold or the magic.  But we’ll do our best. We are lawyers at the national law firm of LeClairRyan.  We hope to make real contributions to the conversation with franchisors, franchisees and franchise consultants, and with legislators, judges, franchise law administrators and individuals and businesses considering franchising.  In sum, our audience is comprised of people in the franchise business and those who deal with franchise companies or simply have an interest in the subject. Why …


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