How the McDonald’s Case over Employer Status Could Upend an Industry

March 15, 2016

A court case between fast food giant McDonald’s and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) began last week in Manhattan amid predictions of sweeping consequences. The NLRB is backing employees of McDonald’s franchisees who want the fast food firm to be treated as a “joint employer” along with the franchise operator that hired them. If McDonald’s loses, it could face fundamental changes in its operating business model, the threat of unionization and collective bargaining across its more than 14,200 franchise outlets in the U.S., and increased vulnerability to all manner of litigation, according to experts.

In one stroke, all…