Franchise News – Employees of McDonald’s Successful, Win Legal Victories

Last year, Seattle approved a $15 minimum wage law which would be implemented over a five to seven year period for small businesses. While most people would not consider McDonald’s a small business given its success and notoriety around the world, employees of the fast-food giant were shocked to learn that the corporation believe their outlets should qualify as small businesses, because the operation is a franchise, with each location being owned by a franchisee.

The Service Employees International Union, along with labor activists, have fought and even staged demonstrations including employee walkouts not only at McDonald’s, but other fast-food chains in the last two years, demanding that employees have not only rights to a union, but a $15 minimum wage. A few legal victories against the hamburger giant have been scored that will reportedly assist in opening the door for efforts to organize unions for the entire sector of fast-food franchisors, according to recent news articles.

Ultimately, major corporations will be prevented from claiming their franchises are exempt from the law’s requirement under language included in the Seattle law. Essentially, across the nation, whether in Seattle or other regions, the minimum wage will rise to $15 per hour for large employees (those with 500 employees or more) over a three-year time period. With McDonald’s contending that it is a “small business,” the increase to a $15 minimum wage would stretch out over a five to seven year time period.

In 2014, it was ruled that McDonald’s is a “joint employer” by the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). This means that the fast-food franchise is a joint employer with franchisees, disregarding the claim by McDonald’s that the company is not the “actual employer” at the franchises’ restaurants and the company’s claims that regarding working conditions and wages, franchisees of the restaurant are totally responsible for their own locations.

In December of 2014, 13 complaints were issued by the National Labor Relations Board which involved organizing and improving working conditions. In fact, 13 complaints were filed involving 78 charges by employees, coming from regions including Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, Kansas City, and other regions. An administrative law judge will now oversee the trial regarding the complaints, including allegations such as reduction in hours, discriminatory discipline, termination, and other allegations made by employees.

As the largest fast-food employer in the U.S. with nearly half a million part- and full-time workers in the United States, 2015 brings plans for demonstrations against the fast-food chain giant from around the world.

At the end of the day, the legal victories enjoyed by the movement against McDonald’s should help pave the way in the fast-food franchise industry for union-organizing drives to make progress in terms of increased wages.

At Spotora & Associates, our Los Angeles franchise attorneys understand that in the franchise world, both franchisors and franchisees often face difficult challenges, often involving wages, discrimination, and other factors that affect employees. Our staff of skilled and experienced lawyers are ready to provide you with legal guidance and support, and answers to all of your questions regarding franchise law.

Interested in learning more about the firm Spotora Law?

This entry was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2015 at 10:22 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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