Big Mac Attack: Is the Franchisor a Joint Employer?

On July 29, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a brief statement that could turn labor law in the world of franchising upside down. The NLRB’s General Counsel stated that it plans to go forward with a number of complaints that allege unfair labor practice claims against a McDonald’s franchisee as well as the franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC. The NLRB’s position appears to be that the franchisor and franchisee may be “joint employers” of the burger flippers and other employees of a franchisee due to the control that a franchisor imposes on its franchisees.

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