WASHINGTON, D.C. — Domino’s Pizza LLC filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on June 15 after being granted a one-month extension and asked the justices to decide whether pizza delivery drivers making in-state deliveries are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) under Section 1 as transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce.
DETROIT — Female employees of a McDonald’s franchisee who allege physical and verbal harassment by a manager filed a motion on June 6 in a federal court in Michigan seeking final approval of a $1.5 million class settlement, and their counsel moved the same day for attorney fees, expenses and $10,000 service awards for each of the named plaintiffs.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 affirmed a lower federal court’s grant of judgment on the pleadings in favor of a commercial property insurer in a coronavirus coverage dispute, finding that the losses incurred by the owners and operators of four Florida Planet Fitness franchise locations did not constitute “direct physical loss of or damage to” their property.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced May 31 that it reached a settlement agreement with a McDonald’s franchisee to resolve claims that the operator of four California restaurants discriminated against non-U.S. citizens when demanding unnecessary documentation.
SAN FRANCISCO — A previous award of $2.6 million in attorney fees following a class settlement by a massage and skin care franchisor accused of violating its membership agreement by periodically increasing membership fees was reduced to $938,026.22 in May 24 order by a federal judge in California following a ruling by a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the settlement was a coupon settlement under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA); the judge deferred the award of any additional fees until after the expiration of the redemption period.
ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling that an insured restaurant chain’s claim for loss of business income caused by shutdown orders issued by state governors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is not covered, finding that there is no coverage available “for the type of purely economic damages” the insured sought under the policy.
LOS ANGELES — Despite finding that a franchisor demonstrates some likelihood of success on allegations that a former franchisee continues to infringe the “Pinkberry” trademark, a federal judge in California on May 20 denied entry of preliminary injunctive relief in the case.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Calling the Federal Communications Commission’s 2003 expansion of private right of action for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to include cell phones “unauthorized,” a federal judge in Florida on May 18 stated that the FCC’s rules and regulations must nonetheless be enforced and declined to dismiss a putative class complaint based on thousands of allegedly unsolicited text message ads for a sandwich shop chain sent to cell phones, some of which were on the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry.
PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on May 9 approved a consent decree between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Subway franchisee under which the employer will pay $30,000 and provide other relief, including training, to end a complaint alleging failure to accommodate an employee with autism.
BOSTON — A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 25 vacated a trial court’s summary judgment ruling for 7-Eleven Inc. in a putative class complaint by franchisees alleging misclassification and remanded for further proceedings in light of a recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court that the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law (ICL) applies to the franchisor-franchisee relationship.
BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge in Maine issued a corrected order on May 3 granting final approval of a class settlement of just over $23 million ending three complaints accusing Flowers Foods and some of its subsidiaries of misclassifying independent distributors as independent contractors.
ROANOKE, Va. — An employee who sued his employer after unsuccessfully seeking leave during the coronavirus pandemic to care for his disabled brother on April 10 filed along with the defendant in a federal court in Virginia a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 22 ruled that the National Labor Relations Board did not abuse its discretion when it approved multiple settlement agreements with McDonald’s USA and franchisees involving claims of retaliating against workers involved in a nationwide organizing campaign without determining whether McDonald’s is a joint employer with its franchisees.
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on April 5 preliminarily approved a $1.5 million settlement in a lawsuit by a class of female employees of a McDonald’s franchisee who claim that they were repeatedly physically and verbally harassed by a manager.
SAN FRANCISCO — A plaintiff claims in a putative class action filed on April 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that Burger King Corp. violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes by fraudulently concealing from customers that the packaging for its Whopper burger is made with per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) that he says renders the Whopper “unfit for human consumption.”
By Robert M. Hall
DETROIT — A class of female workers who sued a McDonald’s franchisee alleging that they were repeatedly physically and verbally harassed by a manager filed a motion in a federal court in Michigan on April 4 seeking preliminary approval of a $1.5 million settlement.
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals entered an order on April 1 for the parties in an appeal concerning the relationship between franchisors and franchisees to show cause why a trial court’s judgment should not be summarily vacated following a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court holding that the state’s Independent Contractor Law (ICL) applies to such relationships.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Resolving a circuit split, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 31 ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not create federal jurisdiction over petitions to confirm or vacate arbitral awards and that courts must have an “independent jurisdictional basis” for addressing such petitions, finding in favor of the former employee of a financial advisory firm and reversing the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law (ICL) applies to the relationship between franchisors and franchisees and does not conflict with the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise Rule, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled March 24 in response to a question certified by the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.