How Vicarious Liability Can Leave Franchisees Exposed

It is fairly common for franchisees and franchisors to be sued together for an injury that occurred at a franchised location. Likewise, more recent lawsuits have extended to employment-related claims alleging that the franchisor and franchisee are “joint employers” and, therefore, jointly liable for any alleged misconduct of employees at the franchised location. In the…

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One vs. Many: Structuring a Multi-Unit Franchise Network

When advising clients on the acquisition of a multi-unit franchise network, we are often posed the age-old question: “Should we own the assets in one entity or multiple entities?” At the risk of sounding too much like a lawyer, the answer to this question is, “It depends.” Each franchisee has a unique set of hot…

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A look on the law: Why elusive franchise legislation is fundamentally important

Franchise legislation can provide fundamental protections for franchisees. Franchise agreements are often non-negotiable and provide few rights for franchisees. The fine print of franchise agreements is by, of, and for the franchisor. Without franchise statutes, franchisees’ rights are usually limited by the terms of the franchise agreement. What can franchise legislation do to overcome the…

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How Equal Access Laws Affect Franchise Owners

“Equal access” has meant various things, for various classes of people, throughout the history of the United States. For some, it has meant being able to eat at the same restaurants or drink from the same water fountains. For others, it has meant having the right to vote. And, notwithstanding great strides in this country…

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Court Examines Whether Managers are Exempt from Overtime

When I was a child, I once heard my father tell a client: “If you are looking for loyalty, then you will find it in the dictionary.” Decades later this exchange still sticks with me. No matter how well we treat our employees, it takes very little for one of them to turn on us…

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Sign At Your Own Risk: Critical Lease Provisions to Negotiate or Avoid

Negotiating a retail lease is one of the most critical stages in the life of a quick service restaurant. Each lease presents is own distinct issues and challenges; failing to have significant attention to detail can inadvertently result in an unsuccessful business or impede your growth; one oversight can destroy your succession plan or exit…

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Employers Prevail in Medical Marijuana Case

Recently, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously held that employers are still allowed to prohibit employee marijuana use and terminate employees who test positive for cannabis despite state law permitting its recreational and medicinal use. In Coats v Dish Network, the Court issued an employer-friendly opinion that could have wide-ranging implications for employers around the country.…

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Mass. Supreme Court Clarifies Tip Pooling Law

The Massachusetts tip pooling law, which prevents managers from taking a cut of the tips left for servers, has been the subject of close scrutiny. Several franchise owners have been sued for allowing managers and supervisors to share the tips, and DDIFO has provided testimony for lawmakers explaining why the law is confusing and needs…

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