Supreme Court To Review NLRB Appointments – President Obama’s “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which were ultimately declared illegal, continue to make news. The three appointments, made while the Senate was still in session, were negated by the courts. Consequently, any decisions (most of which were anti-business) by the NLRB after the appointments were invalidated. The Administration appealed and the US Supreme Court last week agreed to hear the appeal.
Court Splits Starbucks Tip Pool – In a decision that can have repercussions in a number of states, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest state court in New York, this week ruled that Starbucks baristas must share the tips collected at the register with shift supervisors. On the other side of the coin, the court denied assistant manager’s any share of the tip pool. The Court’s ruling (available here) comes in response to class action suits by each of three categories of employees, the baristas, shift supervisors and assistant managers.
Tip Pooling Legislation Heard in Massachusetts – DDIFO testified this week before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in support of two pending Massachusetts bills that would clarify the ambiguity in existing state law that has given birth to a proliferation of class action lawsuits against franchisees. The bills (H.1718 and S.887) would tie the definition of managerial authority to the Fair Labor Standards Act. As an interesting aside, one individual who testified in opposition at the hearing is an attorney who represents the baristas in the New York case (above) and has represented plaintiffs in a number of tip pool class action lawsuits in Massachusetts. She was also identified this week as a principal in one of five groups bidding to buy the Boston Globe, the value of which has been estimated to be in the $30 million to $70 million range)!
West Coast Fair Franchising – We’ve had a run of good news on this front for several weeks. This week, franchisees in the Golden State have been working hard discussing, meeting and informing members of the CA Assembly members of the merits of S.610, the California Franchise Relations Act. It would appear at this point, that the next legislative hurdle will be the hearing before the Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection, now scheduled for August 13. Meanwhile, there’ll be a change in Committee leadership as Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla assumes the Chairmanship of the Committee on July 3!
Employee Payment Options – Last week we advised you of a lawsuit over a McDonalds employee suing because she was paid by debit card, which was subject to fees, minimums and other reductions in its value vs. paycheck. This week, we learn of a slightly different twist of the same coin with the Governor of Oregon signing a bill (H.2683) earlier this month that specifically allows for such payments so long as there are no discounts associated with it. Further, and in keeping with the Pennsylvania requirement we referenced last week, the employee retains the right to demand to be paid by check.
DDIFO National Conference – Planning for the 2013 DDIFO National Conferenced on September 16 – 18 at Caesar’s Atlantic City is proceeding well, and the full program should be finalized within the next few weeks. We encourage all franchisees to plan now to attend the DDIFO National Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey between September 16 and September 18, 2013! You won’t want to miss any part of it!
A Rose By Any Other Name! – Lo and behold, we missed it when eCube changed its name to eTemp. We should’ve realized it with their ads and updated our sponsor directory, but we didn’t so we’re letting you know now! eCube is now eTemp! Good luck with the new product, eTemp!
Dunkin Solid in Consumer Survey – The summer 2013 Goldman Sachs consumer survey of top restaurant brands was recently released. On the overall score, equal weighted for “marketing buzz”, “value”, “modern look and feel” and “food quality” factors, Dunkin placed solidly, overall second to Starbucks and materially ahead of McDonald’s in all attributes. DD had very solid ratings for “modern look and feel” and “food quality”, a bit lower on “marketing buzz” and “consumer value”. The survey included some Tim Horton’s customers, and their ratings were close to Tim’s in 3 of 4 attributes but below Tim’s in food quality, where they scored the highest of the group. The survey was based on 2000 US consumers.
Expansion on Track – Dunkin’ added another state to its footprint with the opening of the first Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Utah this week! The new shop, in Salt Lake City, is in a former Burger King and features a 24 hour drive thru.
Franchisees in the News – Getting “Tanked” in Florida, franchisee Steve Rubiano was featured on the Animal Planet’s popular show, “Tanked”. Rubiano has installed a special aquarium tank, in the shape of a donut in his Riviera Beach, Florida shop. Read the story here and catch the video clip!
Artists needed for Charities – Dunkin is searching for local artists in the Akron, Ohio area to participate in the 2nd Annual “Miracles for Munchkins” contest. The idea is for artists to submit a travel mug design and the winner will be featured on a limited-edition travel mug. They will sell for $5 with all proceeds benefitting the Akron Children’s Hospital’s “Miracles and Promises” program. Contest ends July 26th, but the mugs can be refilled for $.99 through the end of the year!
Competitor News – It was reported today that Starbucks is testing new carbonated “Sparkle Drinks” is select markets.