Earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board issued two decisions rejecting procedural motions filed by McDonald’s, USA in the pending unfair labor practice cases filed against it and certain McDonald’s franchisees. As background, in December 2014 the NLRB’s General Counsel issued 13 complaints involving 78 unfair labor practice charges filed against McDonald’s and its franchisees in 13 NLRB regional offices across the country. The complaints allege various kinds of unfair labor practices against employees seeking to organize unions at McDonald’s restaurants (e.g., discrimination, discharges, surveillance, interrogation, threats). Significantly, as has been well publicized, in addition to the substantive unfair labor practice allegations, the General Counsel is alleging that McDonald’s and its franchisees are a single employer and that, therefore, McDonald’s is jointly liable for any unfair labor practices committed by its franchisees.
Complaints from six NLRB regions (New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Indianapolis, San Francisco and Los Angeles) were consolidated for a trial that started in March 2015 in New York, then was scheduled to move to Chicago and finish in Los Angeles. An NLRB Administrative Law Judge was assigned to preside over the case and hear the evidence. In March 2015, over McDonald’s objection, the judge issued a pre-trial order ruling that Continue reading