A Federal Judge Just Told McDonald's to Stop Playing Legal Games

October 31st 2015

Alex Mierjeski

On Friday, a judge accused McDonald's of "playing games," and gave them 30 days to hand over documents to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which says that McDonald's should be liable for labor violations at franchised stores, Reuters reports.

Earlier this week, ATTN: reported that in a legal battle with the government over how much control it has over its franchises, the fast-food giant asked a federal judge to reject a subpoena ordering them to hand over communications between the company and its franchises. Turning over those documents, McDonald's said, was costly, burdensome, and unfair.

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"You're not even close to proving that the burden on McDonald's would outweigh the relevance [of the documents]," U.S. District Judge Collen McMahon told McDonald's lawyers in a Manhattan court.

The move is the latest procedural development in a case between the company and the federal labor board, which is scheduled to go to trial in January. If the company is found to be a joint employer, observers say it could fundamentally change the relationship between corporations and franchise restaurants.

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The NLRB says that McDonald's is a "joint employer" with its franchise restaurants, meaning that it is responsible for wage and labor conditions, since it already controls so many other aspects of store operation like menu, store layout, and equipment. McDonald's, on the other hand, maintains that it has no hand in setting wages or work conditions. The NLRB is investigating McDonald's after the company was accused of labor violations by unions and workers recently.

Another related NLRB case from August overturned a decades-old definition of joint employment.

Watch this video on the stagnation of the minimum wage:

The Minimum Wage Wasn't Always Less than What You Need to Surv...

The minimum wage wasn't always less than what you need to survive.Thanks to Endemol beyond for their support of this video.

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, August 4, 2015