HUGE WIN FOR MCDONALD’S AND ALL FRANCHISE OWNERS – NO JOINT EMPLOYEE LIABILITY…. FOR NOW
By Robert G. Brody and Luis A. Torres
May 2, 2022
In 2014, one of the largest unions in the United States, the SEIU, and the federal government through the National Labor Relations Board, joined forces and accused McDonald’s, as franchisor, and its American franchisees, of being joint employers. This meant if either the franchisor or franchisee violated an employee’s rights, both would be liable for the misconduct. This assertion would destroy franchising as we know it in America. Thus began an eight-year fight. It appears the fight is finally over–last month, the D.C. Court of Appeals dismissed the union’s last appeal claiming the NLRB never should have approved the settlement and dismissed the case. Included in the settlement was the dismissal of all allegations of joint employer status. Brody and Associates represented the New York franchisees throughout this trial.
While this is a huge victory for management, it may be short lived. The Biden National Labor Relations Board is reversing the Trump Board actions that supported this dismissal. In fact, it is possible this case may be resurrected by the current Board in one of two ways. First, the Board may use its rule making power to make joint employer findings more likely. Second, it may seek a case to reassert their joint employer position and let the Board and courts revisit this issue. We will keep you posted.
Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on all labor management issues, including union-related matters, and provides issue/union-free training. If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203.454.0560.