UPDATE: NLRB Announces that McDonald's USA, LLC could be considered a "Joint Employer" with its Franchisees

On December 19, 2014 the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel issued complaints against McDonald’s USA, LLC (McDonald’s) and numerous McDonald’s franchisees as “joint employers.” The complaints allege that McDonald’s and its franchisees violated employee rights by retaliating against employees for seeking improved wages and working conditions, including participation at nationwide protests. In its complaints, the NLRB asserts that McDonald’s “possessed and/or exercised control over the labor relations policies” of its franchisees and was a “joint employer” of the franchisees’ employees.

In a media statement released on December 19th, McDonald’s expressed its disappointment with the NLRB’s “decision to overreach and move forward with these charges” and stated that McDonald’s will “contest the joint employer allegation as well as the unfair labor practice charges in the proper forums.” The International Franchise Association said the complaints against McDonald’s represent a “grave threat to the franchise business model” and are contrary to over 40 years of legal precedent.

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Craig J. Knobbe

Chair, Business Section

Craig J. Knobbe