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Log In / Register | Aug 20, 2017
Legal news that affect small businesses and franchises, or legal advice for franchise owners

Ugly Truth #1: The Best Employee Handbook in the World Will Not Prevent a Lawsuit (but a Bad One Could Help the Plaintiff Win)

Every business is different, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” employee handbook.  Your handbook should directly reflect how your company actually operates, its culture and its expectations.

U.S. Government Could Withhold $87 Million from Illinois over Soda Tax

The Cook County (where Chicago is located), Illinois soda tax, which went into effect on August 2, is not only facing several lawsuits, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in, saying in a letter to the Illinois Department of Human Services that taxing sugary drinks bought through SNAP (the food stamps program) is a violation of federal law.

Former Holiday Inn Owners Sue and Lose over Franchisor Refusal to Renew Franchise Agreement

Jay Z. Dalwadi and Jay Shree Kapi spent millions building out a Holiday Inn hotel in downtown Houston in 2000 after receiving assurances from the franchisor, they say, that they could anticipate little problem in renewing their franchise agreement down the road. But in 2013 the franchisor refused to renew after receiving offers from others to build a Holiday Inn nearby.

St. Louis Minimum Wage Forced Down by State

While the trend for minimum wages across the country is up, St. Louis will be forced by state legislation to drop its minimum wage by 23 percent as of August 28. The difference between city and state minimum wage philosophy appears to be the difference in viewpoints between Democrats and Republicans.

Richard Solomon

I have not written on Blue MauMau for some time now, and just received notice of Richard's death from his family. 

ABC News Settles 'Pink Slime' Suit

ABC News and the processor of 'pink slime' have agreed to settle the processor's $1.9 billion defamation lawsuit. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver first brought pink slime to light in 2011. ABC followed in March 2012 with a series of reports, saying the product was in 70 percent of ground beef sold in U.S. supermarkets.

Hundreds Rally in Chicago to Protest New Sky-High Tax on Sweet Drinks

Hundreds gathered in downtown Chicago to protest Cook County's tax on sweetened beverages, which is scheduled to go into effect on Saturday, July 1. The tax is one penny per ounce, which may not sound like much, but amounts to a 68¢ price hike on a 2-liter soft-drink bottle and 72¢ for a six-pack.

New York City Fast Food, Retail Employers Face New Hurdles with Latest Wage and Hour Bills

Photo by P Steinberg

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed into law five bills imposing significant wage and hour restrictions on retail and food industry employers, which could change the way they schedule and communicate employee working hours. The laws will go into effect November 26, 2017.

Beer Brewer's Wrongful Termination of Beer Dealer Turns Out to be Grist for the Mill for Beer Distributor

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington recently ruled that a terminated beer franchisee could sue the beer manufacturer for non-statutory damages caused by the franchisor’s termination of the distribution contract without cause.

Department of Labor Rescinds Joint-Employer Guidance

Franchisors were elated to hear yesterday that the federal Department of Labor had rescinded its Obama-era joint-employer interpretation.