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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How Fair is Dunkin’s Dispute Resolution Clause?

Imagine an apple fritter filled with cream and grape jelly and covered with mixed sprinkles. That’s a good analogy for Dunkin’ Brands’ dispute resolution clause in your franchise agreement – a mish-mash. Before delving into the specifics of Dunkin’s clause, here’s some background on dispute resolution clauses. Unless a different procedure is spelled out in…

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Making Sense of Healthcare Law Requirements

March 23rd marked five-years since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law and it has already had a significant impact on how employers offer health insurance coverage to employees. Employers with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent (FTE) employees are known as Applicable Large Employers (ALE) and are subject to the…

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Fallout from the NLRB McDonald’s Decision

Recent rulings by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) raise important questions about labor law. In the actions involving McDonald’s, the NLRB prosecutor is contending that McDonald’s and its franchisees should be considered the “joint employers” of the employees who work at McDonald’s franchise restaurants. On the surface, franchisees might expect their interests to align…

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Franchisees Face Challenges in Estate Planning

Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, said, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” For Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners, that first step began with the acquisition of their first shop. Whether that journey ends with the death of the franchisee, or continues into the next generation, rests largely with the…

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Limiting your Legal Liability for Employee Compensation Claims

As a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, you and your labor lawyer should immediately audit your franchise’s compensation practices. Lawsuits for unpaid minimum and overtime wages are on the rise, and several Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in the northeast have been the targets of lawsuits and Department of Labor investigations. In September 2014, a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee near…

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Medical Marijuana and the Workplace: Increasing number of states provide  employees protection for legal pot use

Guest Column By Daniel S. Field and Andrea E. Zoia In the mid-1990’s, California became the first state in the country to allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Although the effectiveness of marijuana in treating many medical conditions has not been established, an increasing number of states have nevertheless followed California’s lead and…

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The NBA’s Game: Termination of Franchise Rights and Forced Sale of the Team

The National Basketball Association recently fined Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling $2.5 million dollars and suspended him for life from League activity. This arose from racist remarks Sterling allegedly made in a private taped conversation between him and his girlfriend. The League has taken the extreme step of appointing an interim CEO for the…

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BEWARE OF…FRANCHISOR DISCLAIMERS

Editor’s Note: Last fall, the Coalition of Franchisee Associations, of which DDIFO is a founding member, requested its counsel, Dady & Gardner, P.A., prepare an amicus brief to support a franchise owner in his appeal of a lawsuit against his franchisor. The case, Avon Hardware Company v. Ace Hardware Corporation, questioned the validity of disclaimers franchisors…

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Franchisees Could Receive Money from Interchange Fee Settlement

In what was billed as the largest private antitrust settlement in American history, credit card giants Visa and MasterCard have agreed to a $5.7 billion dollar settlement to a class action lawsuit brought by retailers who claimed the companies conspired to fix the interchange fees retailers are charged when customers pay with credit cards. The…

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