- Pres. Donald Trump’s pick of Labor Department regulators might help fast-food giant McDonald’s overcome employees’ joint-employer lawsuits, writes Salon. Workers at McDonald franchises sued their employers and the corporation over what they claim are unfair wage and labor practices.
- The National Labor Relations Board currently is deciding whether McDonald’s is a joint employer in the workers’ complaints. McDonald’s argues that the franchisees are responsible for the management and treatment of their employees.
- Labor groups say McDonald’s has enough control over franchisees’ managerial practices, such as the corporation’s software system for tracking payroll expenses and scheduling, to be a joint employer, says Salon.
Franchise owners buy their McDonald’s restaurants and hire supervisors to manage them. Part of buying a franchise includes using the corporate logo and following procedures that are unique to the brand. Employees might not be aware of or understand the relationship between corporations and franchises.
Franchise owners could lower the risk of lawsuits by avoiding unfair labor practices and complying with employment laws. Corporations could reduce the risk of joint employer claims by including education on the franchisees’ relationship to the corporation as part of the franchise agreement. However, until a decision is made, this relationship remains in a bit of a grey area.