Legal Issues Affecting Franchisees Today

You have a lot of people with their eye on your money,” Attorney Christopher Menihan warned franchisees attending the DDIFO National Conference. “If your network happens to get hit, one of these is enough to topple everything you’ve been working for.” Menihan is an associate with Lisa & Sousa, DDIFO’s General Counsel. And, he was…

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SCOTUS OKs Arbitration vs. Class Action

By a 5-4 decision released earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) confirmed that employers have the right to require employees address grievances through arbitration and not class action litigation. With so many recent frivolous issues being litigated against small business employers recently (butter v. margarine, real blueberries v blueberry filling,…

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Navigating Class Action Lawsuits

From Butter v. Margarine to Blueberry Filling to Wage & Hour With the rapid proliferation of class action lawsuits against small business men and women around the country, it becomes that much more imperative for the franchise owner community to be totally prepared to respond quickly and correctly upon first learning of a possible lawsuit…

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DDIFO National Conference

We are very excited about a number of the speakers we have confirmed for the 2018 DDIFO National Conference, being held June 11 & 12 at Harrahs New Orleans Hotel & Casino in New Orleans, Louisiana! We will be announcing the complete program agenda within the next few weeks and it is a great lineup…

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Butter/Margarine Class Action Suits

We are aware that numerous Massachusetts Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees have had filed against them civil class action lawsuits involving the alleged use of margarine or other butter substitutes.  We further understand that the lawsuits allege Massachusetts franchisees placed margarine or another butter substitute on customers’ baked products when the customer specifically asked for “butter”. We…

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Miscellaneous

Two different court actions are notable this week as shopping center giant Simon Property Group filed a lawsuit against Starbucks over the company’s decision to close all 379 of its Teavana stores. According to the court action, 78 of those stores are in Simon malls and would constitute breach of their leases if the company…

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Dunkin’ Doings

The trains may not run any better, but the passengers won’t mind delays as much with Amtrak now ‘running on Dunkin’! The railroad and Dunkin Donuts announced an agreement this week where Dunkin’ coffee will now be served on the Acela high speed express throughout the northeast. Later this year, all Amtrak trains throughout the…

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Court Denies Class Certification v. McDonalds

A federal judge this week in the US District Court for the Northern District of California denied class certification for a group of employees at a number of San Francisco McDonald’s restaurants.  The plaintiffs’, who had already settled their claims with the franchise owner back in May of 2016, had brought suit alleging that McDonalds…

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“To Tax or Not To Tax?”

Shakespeare might have put it that way, but the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois stated it much more directly last week in ruling that a Dunkin’ franchisee had not violated Illinois law by collecting a higher rate of sales tax on certain items than ultimately was necessary.  The issue in Bartolotta…

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Small Businesses Sue Credit Card Companies Over Chip

A lawsuit challenging the major credit card companies over requiring merchants to use new embedded chip technology has been allowed to move forward by San Francisco-based US District Court Judge William Alsup.  The action, initiated by four smaller grocery stores in California, Florida and New York, contends that VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover conspired…

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