Monday, February 2, 2015

THE BIG MAC ATTACK: McDonald's, Already Struggling, Now Has to Fight the Government

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

McDonald’s Corp.’s new CEO, Steve Easterbrook, has a major task in front of him in addition to increasing sales of burgers: getting his company out of the clutches of the National Labor Relations Board.

In December, NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin announced he had issued complaints against McDonald’s MCD, franchised restaurants and McDonald’s USA, the parent corporation, as joint employers. This joint-employment designation is unprecedented, and overturns decades of settled law.

For half a century, the local franchise was considered the only employer, and still is, for everyone except McDonald’s. The NLRB defined employers as those who controlled workers’ “essential terms of employment,” namely hiring, wage rates, firing and job description. The franchises were the employers, not the owner of the franchise.

The National Labor Relations Board says in its fact sheet that

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