Legal rulings could determine whether franchises are part of a big business or small independent enterprises.
Are franchises small, independent businesses or should they be considered part of a much larger company?
The question is at the heart of two upcoming legal cases. The outcomes could affect profits and change how franchisees hire, fire, manage and pay workers.
A federal judge holds a hearing Tuesday on Seattle’s minimum wage law, which treats franchisees of companies such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven as big businesses although many are owned by individuals and have only a handful of employees. And March 30 brings the first of a series of hearings into complaints against McDonald’s Corp. and some of its franchisees brought by National Labor Relations Board officials. The agency’s Office of General Counsel contends McDonald’s is a joint employer with its franchisees, and should be held responsible if franchisees are found to have committed labor law violations. Read the Article