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National Labor Relations Board ruling holds national franchisor responsible for local actions

Attorney Leonard Court of Crowe & Dunlevy discusses the criticism of the National Labor Relations Board expansive interpretation of “joint employer” in unfair labor practices cases against McDonald’s USA.
Oklahoman Published: August 12, 2014

Q&A with Leonard Court

Joint employer issue draws

criticism from business owners

Q: Describe the recent National Labor Relations Board action concerning the joint employer question.

A: On July 29, General Counsel Richard Griffin announced that he authorized complaints of unfair labor practices in at least 43 cases against McDonald’s USA, claiming that McDonald’s was the joint employer of employees working at facilities that were operated by local franchisees. Earlier, General Counsel Griffin urged the Labor Relations Board to adopt a new standard for deciding when companies could be a joint employer. He used the franchise relationship as one example of the reason for urging the change.

Q: How might this action impact the business community?

A: The action is dramatic departure from the current Labor Relations Board joint employer test. It has already drawn severe criticism from the business community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the Restaurant Association all have issued statements criticizing this effort to hold the national franchisor responsible for the actions of the local franchisee.

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by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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