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McDonald's Workers Were Just Handed a Huge Victory by the Obama Administration


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McDonald's Workers Were Just Handed a Huge Victory by the Obama Administration

By July 30,2014

The news for America’s low-wage workers has been pretty bleak these past, oh, 30 or 40 years or so. Their pay has stagnated and theirbargaining power has atrophied, even as their corporate overlords haveseen their own profits and compensation soar. But there are signs of a brightening underway, and the latest one arrived Tuesday in the form of a possibly consequential finding against one of the most iconic low-wage employers of all, McDonald’s.


The general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Richard Griffin Jr., ruled that he would include McDonald’s as a “joint employer” in the 43 unfair labor practice complaints filed by McDonald’s workers over the past 20 months that Griffin deemed had merit (the complaints mostly involve retaliation against workers who engaged in organizing efforts). Scissors-32x32.png

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NLRB goes after McDonald’s and franchise systems everywhere


Posted by Amy Miller Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:25am


National Labor Relations Board disregards contract law in seeking to hold McDonald’s liable for individual franchisee employment conduct.


Labor unions have struggled over the past few years to gain a hold on the fast food industry, but a recent advisory opinion by the NLRB may have cracked the door for union organizers trying to breach the corporate-franchisee relationship.


On Tuesday, the NLRB’s General Counsel declared that McDonald’s as a corporate entity is a “joint employer” of employees at all of its restaurants–including those employed at its nearly 3000 franchisees. The problem with this ruling is that it flies in the face of the established law governing business associations: franchise contracts explicitly state that franchisees are independent and have complete authority over their own employees, and state and federal regulatory authorities generally respect these contracts as definitive in labor disputes.


McDonald’s Corporation isn’t taking the ruling lying down, though. Via the Washington Examiner:



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Another Reason

Posted on


31 July 2014

by eehines


…to disband the NLRB.


McDonald’s Corp could be treated as a joint employer with its franchisees in labor complaints, according to a National Labor Relations Board legal determination….


The relationship between a franchisee and the parent franchisor varies in the details of the franchise contract. However, the general nature of the reputation is quite limited. The franchisee gets to use the franchisor name and the franchisor’s marketing and accounting assistance, and it gets the franchisor’s market power in holding down the cost of supplies. In return, the franchisee is bound to the franchisor’s rules regarding the use to which the franchise name is put and the nature, quality, and standardization of the product being sold. The franchisee also is required to refrain from activities that would result in denigration of the franchise name. This is a preview of Another Reason. Read the full post (179 words, estimated 43 secs reading time)Scissors-32x32.png

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Fast-food chains go to war with labor board


Business groups are up in arms over a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that they fear could demolish the legal wall between corporations and their franchises.


The NLRB’s finding that McDonald’s has joint employer status, along with its franchisees, over the chain’s thousands of workers could expose the company to claims from workers who say their labor rights have been violated.


If it stands, the determination could lead to an uptick in lawsuits against franchisors and force corporate management to the table in collective bargaining situations.

Industry groups are pledging to fight the determination, saying it threatens to blow up a business model that withstood the Great Recession as other sectors faltered.


“This legal opinion would upend years of federal and state legal precedent and threaten the sanctity of hundreds of thousands of contracts between franchisees and franchisors,” said International Franchise Association President Steve Caldeira.


Unions and their allies say the decision merely responds to an evolution in the franchise industry that has enabled companies to wield substantial control over stores while insulating themselves from labor and workplace disputes.Scissors-32x32.png


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