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Board Approves McDonald's Settlement

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Board Approves McDonald’s Settlements

Agreements Provide Full Remedy to Affected Employees

WASHINGTON, DC – The Board today instructed an administrative law judge to approve settlements resolving complaints against McDonald’s USA LLC, McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois, Inc., and 29 franchisees, based on violations allegedly committed by McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois and the franchisees. The Board concluded that the settlements will provide a full remedy for all alleged substantive violations.

After nearly three years of proceedings, the General Counsel and McDonald’s USA, LLC presented a series of informal settlement agreements resolving all the alleged unfair labor practices. An administrative law judge denied their motions to approve the settlement agreements.

On special appeal, the Board vacated the judge’s order, and remanded the case to the judge with instructions to approve the settlement agreements. Applying the “reasonableness” factors set forth in Independent Stave, 287 NLRB 740 (1987), the majority found, contrary to the judge, that the settlement agreements are reasonable, that they provide a full remedy to all affected employees, and that accepting the settlement agreements would serve the policies underlying the Act as well as the Board’s longstanding policy of encouraging the amicable resolution of disputes. The settlements do not impose joint and several liability on McDonald’s USA, LLC as a joint employer; however, they impose obligations on McDonald’s USA, LLC to support the remedies agreed to by McDonald’s Restaurants of Illinois and the franchisees.

Members Marvin E. Kaplan and William J. Emanuel joined in the majority opinion. Member Lauren McFerran dissented. 

The decision can be found here.

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees, employers, and unions from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.