WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on July 29 announced a final rule that will become effective on Sept. 28 rescinding a joint employer status rule that took effect under President Donald J. Trump’s administration in March 2020.
RICHMOND, Va. — A Black hotel guest who alleged that a security guard discriminated and committed a hate crime against him under federal and state statutes when he repeatedly asked the guest in the hotel lobby if he “belonged there” and requested identification stipulated to dismiss the matter against Hilton hotel franchise owners and operators and a security service provider with prejudice on July 21 in a federal district court in Virginia.
SAN DIEGO — A federal magistrate judge in California on July 20 granted a third joint motion for an extension of time to produce documents in a putative class action accusing Marriott of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state statutes.
SAN FRANCISCO — A franchisor of direct marketing services was properly granted summary judgment on a franchisee’s counterclaims because the franchisee was bound by his election of restitution as his remedy and because he failed to prove that the franchisor was enriched by its allegedly illegal conduct, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 21 in an unpublished opinion.
LOS ANGELES — Domino’s Pizza LLC is required to bring its website into compliance with federal accessibility guidelines, a California federal judge ruled in a June 23 in chambers order, granting partial summary judgment to a blind man who sued the pizza chain for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on July 13 granted final approval of a more than $750,000 collective and class settlement between a Papa John’s franchisee and delivery drivers who brought wage claims but reduced the attorney fees requested as the attorneys would receive more than the actual claim payments to the class.
HOUSTON — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on July 20 announced the recovery of $73,735 in wages for 160 employees after a Denny’s franchisee illegally deducted the costs of uniforms from employees resulting in wages less than the minimum requirements.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on July 20 denied motions to dismiss and strike claims of sexual harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation in a class lawsuit alleging years of “pervasive” unwanted treatment of females in locations around the country.
ATLANTA — A travel fare aggregator website’s arbitration agreement with customers doesn’t extend to a car rental franchise from whom customers rent cars as the terms of the agreement refer only to Orbitz.com’s products and services, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 14.
CINCINNATI — A minor who alleged that she was sexually harassed at her place of employment successfully proved a hostile work environment and harassment but failed to establish that reporting the harassment was the but-for cause of removing her from the work schedule, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in a July 8 amended opinion, affirming a jury’s award of punitive damages and the trial court’s calculation of attorney fees for the former employee and the summary judgment ruling for the employer on the retaliation claim.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recovered $67,556 in back wages for 18 employees of a North Carolina hotel franchisee after determining that the employer’s piece-rate rate practice for housekeepers caused the hourly rate for some to fall below the federal minimum wage, the DOL announced July 14.
CINCINNATI — A pizza restaurant franchisee filed a response on June 30 in a federal court in Ohio to objections by a delivery driver in which it supported a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers working for Domino’s Pizza franchises may be “reasonably approximated” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A sandwich franchisor has violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state laws by labeling its tuna salad, sandwiches and wraps as “100% tuna” while failing to prevent adulteration in its supply chain or honor its representation that it has “a global ban on the sale of tuna species that come from anything less than healthy stocks,” two California consumers allege in an amended class complaint filed June 7 in a California federal court.
CAMDEN, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on June 24 granted a beauty spa insured’s motion to remand its lawsuit seeking a declaration that its professional liability insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify it against underlying claims that one of its employees perpetuated a sexual act against one of its former customers, finding that complete diversity does not exist.
SAN DIEGO — Arguing that they have standing and ripe and properly pleaded claims and have shown preemption, four franchising-related associations on June 18 filed an opposition in a California federal court to California’s motion to dismiss their amended complaint challenging the constitutionality of the state’s “ABC Test” to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor.
CINCINNATI — A report and recommendation by a federal magistrate judge in Ohio stating that vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers working for Domino’s Pizza franchises may be “reasonably approximated” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) misinterprets the FLSA regulations or binding Supreme Court precedent, the lead plaintiff in the case argues in his June 9 objections.
DAYTON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on June 4 granted preliminary approval of a $3.25 million settlement reached by Papa John’s franchisees and delivery drivers who brought class and collective claims seeking reimbursement for actual expenses.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on June 9 dismissed with prejudice based on the two-year statute of limitations putative class claims by two Black franchisees that they were steered by a fast food franchisor to Black communities where white franchisees refused to operate restaurants due to higher overhead costs and employee turnover and denied as moot a motion to strike class allegations.
NEW YORK — A consumer who filed a class complaint against Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust Ltd. alleging that it sent her and a proposed class unwanted text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was not bound by an arbitration agreement on Subway’s website due to the company’s failure to provide users with a reasonable conspicuous notice that they were agreeing to such terms, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 8.
NEW YORK — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is considering whether to rescind the joint employer rule issued in February 2020; however, even if the rule is not rescinded, the states and commonwealth that have sued challenging the changes lack standing as the injuries they allege they will suffer “result entirely from their own policy changes,” the DOL argues in its reply brief filed May 28 in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.