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is considering whether to rescind the joint employer rule issued in February 2020; however, even if the rule is not rescinded, the states and commonwealth that have sued challenging the changes lack standing as the injuries they allege they will suffer “result entirely from their own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.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two unions challenging the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) refusal to reopen the record and reconsider an order directing approval of settlement agreements between a fast food franchisor and franchisees accused of retaliating against workers involved in an organizing campaign for higher pay and the impartiality of one of the NLRB members and the substance of the agreements filed an opening brief on June 4 in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that they must be permitted to present new evidence and challenging the standard of review used by the NLRB.
ST. LOUIS — A former employee who filed claims of sex discrimination and hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against McDonald’s Corp. and McDonald’s USA LLC and a franchisee made sufficient allegations based on the joint employer theory to state a claim for relief against the franchisors, a Missouri federal judge ruled June 3, denying motions to dismiss filed by the McDonald’s defendants.
NEWARK, N.J. — Owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton filed a notice of appeal in a New Jersey federal court on June 4 indicating they are seeking the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal’s review of the lower court’s dismissal of their breach of contract lawsuit alleging $40,798,390 in damages for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
CHICAGO — Owners and operators of various bars, restaurants and taverns, including the Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, sued their property and casualty insurer in a federal court in Illinois on June 2 for its failure to provide coverage for their lost business income arising from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent executive orders issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
FRESNO, Calif. — A former Five Guys employee’s third motion seeking preliminary approval of a proposed $1.2 million class action settlement of allegations that the franchise chain and a franchisee violated federal and California consumer reporting laws, California wage-and-hour laws and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) does not provide sufficient information to show that it “is likely to be approved as ‘fair, reasonable, and adequate’ upon certification of the class,” a California federal judge ruled in an order filed June 1 that denied the motion without prejudice.
CINCINNATI — Ford Motor Co. in a June 1 appellee brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals says a Kuwaiti car dealer’s argument that the Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Fairness Act (the Fairness Act) applies to foreign dealers and should have precluded a district court from ordering it to arbitrate a dispute with Ford is moot and contends that the Fairness Act applies only domestically.
DAYTON, Ohio — Pizza delivery drivers employed by Papa John’s franchisees who brought class and collective claims seeking reimbursement for actual expenses moved in a federal court in Ohio on May 27 for preliminary approval of a $3.25 million settlement.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on May 18 denied a post-settlement motion for attorney fees filed by the owner of multiple franchises in a dispute with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over an arbitration agreement employees were required to sign.
RALEIGH, N.C. — An engineering firm named as a third-party defendant in a property owner and hotel franchisee’s suit over a building designer’s allegedly faulty plans says in a motion for summary judgment filed May 13 in federal court in North Carolina that the designer has not proffered any evidence that the firm violated its standard of care.
CHICAGO — An insurer on May 19 filed suit in an Illinois court, seeking a declaration that is has no duty to defend or indemnify McDonald’s and its franchisees against two underlying lawsuits alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), arguing that the underlying claims do not assert “bodily injury” or “property damage” that was caused by an “occurrence” nor do they allege “personal and advertising injury” under the policy.
CINCINNATI — Vehicle-related expenses incurred by delivery drivers working for Domino’s Pizza franchises may be “reasonably approximated” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as there is “no genuine ambiguity” in the anti-kickback regulation, a federal magistrate judge in Ohio stated in her May 26 report and recommendation.
LAS VEGAS — A Wendy’s franchise in Nevada has agreed pay more than $858,000 to settle class claims that it failed to pay workers who declined health benefits upper-tier minimum wages pursuant to state law, according to an order granting preliminary class settlement approval issued May 27 by a federal judge in Nevada.
ATLANTA — A district court correctly found 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 because the decision is clearly supported by the insurance policy’s language and because the policy’s contamination exclusion bars coverage, an insurer says in a May 26 appellee brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on May 24 denied a motion to vacate filed by the owners of more than 120 franchise locations under the brands Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Marriott and Hilton, refusing to disturb her dismissal of their breach of contract lawsuit alleging $40,798,390 in damages for their losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.