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The Chicago Tribune reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that "McDonald's shares responsibility for working conditions with its franchisees who operate roughly 90 percent of its restaurants," a ruling that is significant because "McDonald’s has long maintained that its franchisees are independent owner-operators who set their own policies, including wages." The ruling potentially leaves McDonald's legally vulnerable in case of suits filed against its franchisees.

McDonald's immediately called the decision "wrong," and promised to challenge the decision "in the appropriate forum." And the National Retail Federation (NRF) came out with a statement saying that the ruling "gives a whole new meaning to the word 'outrageous'."
KC's View:
I don't know. I'm no lawyer, so I don't understand the ins and outs of franchisee agreements, but from where I sit this NLRB decision doesn't sound all that off the mark. McDonald's controls a lot of what goes on in its franchises, if only because it wants to protect the brand. If it can control the meat they use, the potatoes they use for fries, and the ads they run, why shouldn't they also have enforceable rules about labor?