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Cases, news, issues and legal opinions impacting franchise law

Uber Agrees to $100M to Settle Class Action Lawsuits with Drivers

Uber protest in Portland (photo/Aaron Parecki)

SAN FRANCISCO - Uber agreed last week to settle two class action lawsuits for $100 million. The legal actions were filed by drivers in California and Massachusetts to determine if they could be reclassified as employees instead of independent contractors, to receive benefits they lack now. Had the lawsuits proceeded to trial and Uber had lost, the outcome could have cost the firm billions in employee expenses.

Meineke Franchisee Jailed for Not Paying Royalties

(Photo:D Sniegowski)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After terminated Meineke franchisees ignored a court default judgment that directed them to "cease and refrain" from operating their auto shop in Nevada, after bragging to customers that corporate "can't do anything about it," a district judge determined that contempt sanctions of imprisonment and fines of $1,000 a day were necessary.

DLA Piper’s Top 10 Franchise Cases of 2015, Part 2

In this second segment of the DLA Piper Top 10 Franchise Cases of 2015, John Dwyer, of counsel at the firm, (pictured below) introduces the next important topic: Can a franchisee be terminated for failing to follow the franchisor's pricing?

DLA Piper’s Top 10 Franchise Cases of 2015

DLA Piper Franchise division, a leader in national and international franchise law, presented its Top 10 Franchise Cases for 2015 in a webinar session last month, providing franchisor clients with guidance as to "business considerations" and "rapidly growing trends."

Subway Franchisee Settles EEOC Claims over Firing HIV-Positive Worker

Image: EEOC

INDIANAPOLIS - A Subway franchisee has now settled a 2015 discrimination lawsut brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for firing a worker who was HIV positive. 

Subway Ex-Pitchman Jared No Longer Living the Good Life

Photo: Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood, CO.

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado – After a federal judge sentenced Jared Fogle on November 19, 2015 to 15 years, 8 months on charges of possessing child pornography and traveling across state lines to pay for sex with minors, the former Subway pitchman is finding life in prison not so easy.

IFA Boots Consultant Christopher Conner Out

Chris Conner Image from YouTube video

WASHINGTON D.C. – The International Franchise Association has now terminated the membership of franchise consultant Christopher J. Conner and his firm Franchise Marketing Systems, following the California state regulator's "unprecedented enforcement action" against both entities last week. The Commissioner banned Conner and his firm from engaging in the business of franchising in California for the next five years.

Jury Awards Nearly $500,000 to Taco Bell Workers for Unpaid Meal Breaks

IRVINE, California — A federal jury last week ruled in favor of 134,419 Taco Bell restaurant workers, finding the fast-food chain had underpaid them for meal breaks, a violation of California law. The "special verdict" filed on March 9, 2016, awarded the employees $495,913, stating that Taco Bell had a standardized company-wide policy that underpaid premiums to staff for meal periods.

Buffets LLC Files for Bankruptcy Again, Revenues and Lawsuit to Blame

HOLLYWOOD PARK, Texas – For the third time since 2008, Old Country Buffet parent company, Buffets LLC, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors, blaming not only disappointing revenue but also litigation that proved costly to the company.

California Commissioner Bars Christopher Conner from Franchising until 2021!

FMS exhibits at 2016 IFA Convention.Conner (left)

LOS ANGELES – The California Department of Business Oversight entered an agreement yesterday with franchise consultant Christopher J. Conner, Conner and Associates d/b/a Franchise Marketing Systems, banning him and his companies from offering or selling franchises until January 1, 2021.