Settlement Deal Leaves Status Quo On Joint-Employer Test

Republished with permission, this article first appeared in Law360, March 30, 2018.

On March 20, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board announced that franchisor McDonald’s USA LLC agreed to settle numerous high-profile labor disputes over whether it is a joint employer with its franchisees. Although the settlement has not yet been approved by the administrative law judge overseeing the litigation, McDonald’s and its franchisees negotiated settlement agreements with the NLRB and the charging parties to resolve alleged unfair labor practice charges without admitting liability or wrongdoing. In doing so, McDonald’s avoids prolonged litigation and a potentially adverse decision that would have had sweeping ramifications for franchisors and their franchisees nationwide.

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