US 3rd Circuit Rules Franchisees are Employees!

In a deeply divided 2-1 decision, the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Philadelphia, has ruled to certify a class action lawsuit against franchisor Jani-King of Philadelphia wherein the plaintiff franchisees contend they were wrongfully categorized as independent contractors  The plaintiffs argue that the control that the franchisor exercised over their day-to-day tasks…

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PA Supreme Court Won’t Expedite Soda Tax Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is pretty much going to let the Philadelphia soda tax take effect as scheduled on January 1, 2017 after denying a petition by the American Beverage Association among other plaintiffs for an expedited hearing.  Recall that back in June of this year, the city of Philadelphia passed a tax of 1.5…

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Beverage Association Sues Philly over Soda Tax

In an action that had been anticipated for several weeks, the American Beverage Association, joined by several Philadelphia residents, filed suit against the city of Philadelphia challenging the legality of the recently enacted soda tax.  The suit contends that imposition of the new tax, 1.5 cents per ounce, is preempted by the state sales tax…

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States, Business Challenge Overtime Rule

Two major lawsuits have been filed in federal courts in Texas challenging the new Department of Labor overtime rule set to take effect on December 1.  Some 20 other states joined Texas in a challenge alleging that the new mandate violates the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution (the “State’s Rights amendment”).  This particular complaint…

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OSHA Sued Over Union Participation in Inspections

With Texas the obvious litigation venue of choice, the business community initiated another lawsuit in the Northern US District Court challenging the new Occupational and Safety Administration practice of allowing union officials to accompany OSHA inspectors on inspections even of companies that are non-union employers. The so-called “walk-around” rule has long allowed employee representatives (limited…

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Lawsuits vs ACA Mandate Growing

Two new lawsuits were filed this week by insurance companies over a specific provision of the Obamacare health insurance mandate.  The targeted provision, known as the “risk adjustment program”, requires health insurers whose members are healthier (and therefore less expensive to insure), to pay monies to their competitors whose members are not as healthy and…

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Labor & Lawmakers Sue Arizona

A number of sitting lawmakers joined United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 in filing suit against the state of Arizona this week challenging the validity of HB 2579, which restricts cities and counties from enacting legislation that mandates what employee benefits private employers must offer their employees.  HB. 2579 passed both branches and was…

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Vermont GMO Labeling Law Effective Today

The Vermont law mandating the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) becomes effective today.  The law, which originally passed back in 2014 and has since survived a number of legal and political challenges, requires that any food product that contains at least 75% bioengineered content have a label specifying that the product is…

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Competitor News

A California judge will hear another lawsuit against Starbucks in which the company is accused of under-filling its beverages.  This time, their latte is the cup of contention with plaintiffs alleging that a 16 ounce cup is only intentionally filled about 75%.  The latte class action follows a cold beverage class action filed in April…

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And, Dunkin’ Doing To Baskins?

The Association of Independent Baskin Robbins Franchisee Owners (AIBRFO) filed suit in US District Court in Massachusetts Thursday against Baskin Robbins, LLC asking for relief and costs from a “commercial factor fee” that its franchisees have been paying for many years, levied through Dean Foods. This “commercial factor fee” is a special fee not relating…

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