FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Feb. 16 refused to dismiss a woman’s suit against the franchisor, franchisee and operators of a Days Inn Hotel alleging that she was a victim of sex trafficking at the hotel over a three-year period. The judge denied three defendants’ motion to dismiss, rejecting multiple arguments, including that the plaintiff failed to state a claim against them.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A Ben & Jerry’s franchisee will pay $21,360 to end claims of wage and child labor violations, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Feb. 18.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — McDonald’s discriminated by redlining a Black franchisee and retaliated when he protested, a franchisee alleges in a Feb. 16 civil rights complaint filed in a federal court in Ohio.
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles McDonald’s franchisee has been cited $125,913 for committing labor violations and retaliation after it fired four workers for reporting unsafe conditions during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the California Labor commissioner announced Feb. 17.
CLEVELAND — The lead financial institution (FI) plaintiffs in a consolidated class action over a 2017 data breach experienced by Sonic Corp. filed a motion in Ohio federal court on Feb. 10, seeking to quash Sonic’s subpoena for documents in a data breach suit against fellow fast food chain Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc., characterizing the subpoena as an attempt “to circumvent the legal process for obtaining class member discovery” and arguing that the documents sought are irrelevant and privileged.
SAN FRANCISCO — A cleaning company franchisor that operates a “three-tier” franchising model and was sued by the third tier for unpaid wages filed a petition on Feb. 16 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking a panel rehearing and rehearing en banc after the appellate court issued an amended opinion on Feb. 2 vacating a summary judgment ruling for the franchisor and remanded for the district court to consider whether the janitors are employees under the Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court standard in the first instance, arguing that the wrong standard was applied.
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Feb. 12 agreed to remand a proposed class action against the Red Robin restaurant franchise for shorting customers by serving them 14 ounces of Stella Artois beer in a 16-ounce glass, noting that the corporation’s sales figures did not reach the jurisdictional amount-in-controversy threshold required by the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
ATLANTA — The International Franchise Association and Florida Chamber of Commerce filed separate amicus curiae briefs on Feb. 3 in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting arguments by Burger King’s corporate entities that a lower court correctly held that the fast food giant and its franchisees were incapable of conspiring to ensure that the franchisees did not recruit or hire each other’s employees.
CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 8 allowed a Chevrolet dealer franchisee’s claim that General Motors LLC imposed more than $670,000 in unlawful chargebacks against it to proceed to a nonjury trial but entered judgment on all other claims in the dealer’s suit alleging that GM illegally terminated their franchise agreement over disputed warranty reimbursement claims.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Feb. 5 affirmed the dismissal of a woman’s fraudulent misrepresentation claims against a commercial cleaning system franchisor and others for lack of standing. It concluded that the woman’s limited liability company, which entered the franchise agreement, should have been the party to file suit.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A National Labor Relations Board panel majority on Feb. 11 denied reconsideration of its July 29 supplemental decision and order in which it vacated its 2015 decision in the case that had expanded the standard for assessing joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) while the lone dissenting member of the panel said the majority’s decision “def[ied]” instructions by the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Feb. 4 granted a motion to dismiss a consumer’s claims that Target Corp. failed to disclose that optometrists at Target Optical stores were not “independent” because the consumer failed to establish that Target had a duty to disclose to her but declined to dismiss her claims that Target participated in misrepresentations regarding the independence of the optometrists.
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on Feb. 5 reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment against a consumer who brought an unfair competition law (UCL) claim against a pharmacy chain for not making available the terms of a limited warranty for a water flosser she purchased, finding that the consumer has UCL standing and that the court abused its discretion by excluding one of her statements from evidence.
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Jan. 12 granted a motion to dismiss a putative class action against the Marriott International Inc. hotel company for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws in relation to a customer data breach that occurred in Russia, writing that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue because sensitive information was not accessed during the breach.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 4 denied a petition for panel rehearing filed by a union that intervened in an appeal challenging a decision by the National Labor Relations Board in a union representation dispute with a Chicago-area hotel operator.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal judge in New Mexico on Feb. 5 conditionally certified a collective for servers who work at some Denny’s franchise locations in New Mexico who complain that the managers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New Mexico Minimum Wage Act (NMMWA) by implementing illegal wage policies but found that the plaintiffs were unable to sufficiently allege that similar illegal conduct occurred at Denny’s locations owned by the defendants outside of the state.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Noting that only six putative class actions have been filed over the recently announced data breach experienced by Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc., the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Feb. 4 denied a motion by the plaintiffs in one of those cases to consolidate the suits in California federal court, holding that the parties and courts involved can instead engage in informal coordination efforts.
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Feb. 3 granted motions to dismiss filed by pizza delivery and carryout franchise Papa John’s International Inc. and its current and former CEOs on claims that they violated federal securities law by failing to disclose a toxic workplace environment created by a culture of sexual harassment and other inappropriate workplace conduct by its most senior executives, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to cure pleading deficiencies that led to a prior dismissal of its claims.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A master franchisee of commercial cleaning businesses urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 4 to reject a petition for certiorari filed by two franchisees who argue that an appeals court in a proposed class action over employment classifications erred in holding that the mere reference to arbitration rules in an agreement constitutes “clear and unmistakable” intent to delegate arbitrability issues to an arbitrator instead of a court.
LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska federal judge refused on Feb. 4 to dismiss or stay an in-home care franchisor’s breach of contract claims against former franchisees in favor of a wrongful death action pending in an Alabama state court against the franchisees. In a separate ruling on Jan. 29, the judge agreed to impose a preliminary injunction against the former franchisees to keep them from violating the franchise agreements’ non-compete clauses.