The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Thursday morning that McDonald’s should not be held accountable for the labor behavior of its franchisees. The federal agency that is accountable for enforcing U.S. labor law has issued its latest ruling in a year-long union case. This seeks to hold fast-food chains responsible to all workers at companies and franchise locations.
The agency, which is also known as the NLRB (The National Labor Relations Board), instructed the law judge to support a settlement between McDonald’s and its franchisees and workers suspected of violating labor laws. This case was closely observed because of the significant impact on companies that rely on warehousing, trucking and construction services. The NLRB ruling is expected to face appeal. The bitter and lengthy lawsuit started in the mid of 2015 when International Service Employees Association accused McDonald’s and their franchisees of retaliation against hundreds of workers who supported the $ 15 workers’ movement. For example, after workers claimed that participating in union-backed protests demanded higher wages, they were assigned more complicated tasks or less time. At that time, the prosecutor asked the judge to review McDonald’s and they also accused them of violating labor law. But under the new government, last year’s NLRB lawyers suddenly proposed a settlement agreement with the affected workers a few days before the three-year trial ended. On Thursday morning, the NRLB team overturned the judge and instructed her to approve the settlement agreement. As part of the settlement, McDonald’s franchisees promised to set up a $ 250,000 fund to pay workers in long-running cases. Workers’ rights groups have claimed that many firms use franchising and to block responsibilities to workers who make their business possible.
There are approximately more than 13,000 McDonald’s in the United States, and franchisees operate more than 80% of them. Mcdonalds believes that franchisees are independent business and that they should make their own decisions with respect to hiring people, compensation and other such matters. The NLRB said that the final verdict is expected to achieve in 2020.