Franchise Flashpoints: 7 Trends That Shook The Industry In 2018

This year saw a number of hot-button issues make headlines in the world of franchising—some positive and some ominous. From franchisee uprisings to regulations that benefit consumers and employees, 2018 was a year that saw some real change in the franchising landscape.

Chicago Area Fast Food Worker Activists Organize National Strike To Combat Sexual Harassment.Getty Images

New Joint Employer Rules Were Proposed

In September, the NLRB board proposed changing regulations on joint employer status.ASSOCIATED PRESS

Back in 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a company – like a franchisor – that had indirect control over another company’s employees – say, a franchisee – made both companies joint employers of those employees. That potentially opened up franchisors to liability and labor bargaining issues involving their franchisees’ workforces. This raised the ire of franchisors, and McDonald’s even found itself embroiled in a lawsuit, one of whose central issues was whether the burger chain was indeed a joint employer of workers hired by its franchisees. 

But in September, the NLRB board proposed changing regulations to declare joint employer status “only if it possesses and exercises substantial, direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment.” Indirect influence would no longer suffice, which would allow franchisors to breathe a sigh of relief. The NLRB is now accepting feedback on the proposed regulation changes from the public and could vote on the matter in the coming year. 

McDonald’s Employees Strike Over Sexual Harassment

Chicago Area Fast Food Worker Activists Organize National Strike To Combat Sexual HarassmentGetty Images

In September,

Keep reading this article on Forbes Small Business.