Wyatt Employment Law Report

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NLRB Asserts McDonald’s Is a “Joint Employer” of Employees of Its Franchisees

By Amanda Warford Edge

The NLRB’s general counsel announced on December 19, 2014 that he will proceed with thirteen (13) cases involving seventy-eight (78) charges against McDonald’s USA, LLC and its franchisees.  The alleged violations took place against McDonald’s workers in several cities throughout the country, including: Detroit, St. Louis, Manhattan, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Indianapolis.  McDonald’s and its franchisees allegedly retaliated illegally against employees who participated in union-related activities by reducing their hours, terminating them and/or subjecting them to other disciplinary actions.

By filing the cases against McDonald’s and its franchisees, the general counsel is asserting that McDonald’s can be liable as a “joint employer,” despite the fact that many of the alleged labor violations were committed by independent franchise owners.  This has sweeping industry implications, striking at the very heart of the franchise system.  Unions, of course, see the cases as a win, claiming that Continue reading