Increasing Risk Liability and Pressure Mounting on Franchisors
The movement in the US for a higher minimum wage has taken a new angle in attacking large franchisors, and it could threaten to rip apart the franchising industry as we know it. There are now consolidated cases going before the National Labour Relation Board which claim that a franchisor – such as McDonald’s, one of the companies being attacked – is actually a joint owner with its franchisees.
If the board rules against McDonald’s, it would mean that the corporation could be liable for wage underpayments or other violations, even things that aren’t related to the franchise agreement. The franchise owners would also basically lose their “business owner” status and be more subject to corporate policies. They would become, essentially, corporately-controlled outlets instead of franchises.