McDonald’s Wins Big at the NLRB. It’s Also a Win For Small Business

by Evil HR Lady on December 14, 2019

The last time you ordered some Chicken McNuggets or a Big Mac, was it a McDonald’s employee who took your order, made the food and handed it to you? The National Labor Relations Board just handed down a ruling that decries that most likely, it was not a McDonald’s employee, but an employee who works for a McDonald’s franchise. 

Over 90 percent of McDonald’s restaurants are franchises–that is owned by people other than McDonald’s corporate entity. Since 2012 McDonald’s has been in a court battle to determine whether it is a “joint employer” along with the franchise owners.

In 2012, a few McDonald’s franchise employees claimed they were punished for pro-union activities. This is patently illegal. The question was, is McDonald’s liable or strictly the franchise owners? If McDonald’s is a joint employer, then they can be held responsible for everything at the employee level–from missed overtime payments to sexual harassment. 

To keep reading, click here: McDonald’s Wins Big at the NLRB. It’s Also a Win For Small Business

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous December 14, 2019 at 9:04 pm

Franchisees are small business owners (some of whom have multi-million dollar investments) but have to maintain the policies of the company brand they are working with, to ensure that customers receive both the same product and service at every location. McDonald’s doesn’t do the actual day-to-day hiring for the employees, but it does have a set of rules on types of customer service and food handling, which cannot be deviated from. Okay in some locations there are products allowed but they have been approved via the corporate from the franchise owner, which makes that an approved change.
As far as to pay for the labor wage, that all depends on the geographic location. That $15/hour wage cannot be a companywide mandate outside of the US and even there in the USA, McDonald’s knows that different areas have a different cost of living, which would have a major impact on operating costs for each unit. To accommodate the pay increase, hours of staffing and the number of people staffed would decrease. Unionizing would only help in potential benefits received, nothing would guarantee more minimum hours within the labor laws in place. Suing the main company is only going to make McDonald’s put down tighter regulations on the franchisees.

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grannybunny December 16, 2019 at 1:28 pm

“[I]f the franchise owner becomes liable for everything regarding employees, they are likely to seize control of everything as well. If they have control of everything, there is no point in franchising.” This language is at odds with your support of the decision. While it’s clearly a win for big business — McDonald’s, et al — it’s by no means a win for the small business owners, the franchisees, who lose the backing of Corporate in their employment disputes. And, it’s — obviously — a loss for their employees.

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