Stakes Are High in McDonald’s Joint-Employer Case


Donald S. Krueger, Senior Counsel, and Steven M. Swirsky, Member of the Firm, authored an article in Law360, titled “Stakes Are High in McDonald’s Joint-Employer Case.” (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The National Labor Relations Board unfair labor practice hearing against McDonald’s USA LLC and numerous franchisees opened in New York City on Monday, March 30, 2015, before Administrative Law Judge Lauren Esposito, a former NLRB field attorney and union lawyer. Also recently, the Service Employees International Union announced that it was investing an additional $15 million in the Fight For Fifteen campaign, which seeks to organize fast-food workers nationwide, and that a series of events would take place across the country on April 15 as part of that effort.

In the McDonald’s cases, under the terms of a case management order issued by ALJ Esposito on March 3, 2015, the unfair labor practice hearings are scheduled to take place in three phases, with adjournments between each phase. The hearing, which began recently in Manhattan, will start with the closely watched claims by the board’s general counsel that McDonald’s and its franchisees are joint employers. The general counsel will produce witnesses who will offer testimony and evidence on the nationwide joint-employer issue and will continue with evidence of joint-employer status and evidence on specific violations allegedly committed by the franchisees in New York and Philadelphia. The hearing will then move to Chicago and will conclude in Los Angeles with the presentation of evidence of joint-employer status and evidence regarding specific violations alleged to have occurred in the Midwest and California, respectively.

This article is based on a post, "McDonald’s-Franchisee Joint Employer NLRB Hearing Begins, SEIU Expands Fight for Fifteen and Other Developments," authored by Mr. Krueger and Mr. Swirsky on Epstein Becker Green’s Management Memo blog.