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NLRB Office of the General Counsel Issues Consolidated Complaints Against McDonald's Franchisees and their Franchisor McDonald's, USA, LLC as Joint Employers

The National Labor Relations Board Office of the General Counsel has issued complaints against McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC, as joint employers.  The complaints allege that McDonald’s USA, LLC and certain franchisees violated the rights of employees working at McDonald’s restaurants at various locations around the country by, among other things, making statements and taking actions against them for engaging in activities aimed at improving their wages and working conditions, including participating in nationwide fast food worker protests about their terms and conditions of employment during the past two years. 

The Office of the General Counsel informed McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC, that, of 291 charges filed since November 2012, 86 cases have been found meritorious, and therefore, complaints would issue regarding those meritorious cases, absent settlement.  While representatives of the Office of the General Counsel have been engaged in efforts to settle the matter with the parties, thus far, those efforts have largely been unsuccessful.  Therefore, the Regional Offices, where meritorious charges were filed and not settled, issued complaints against the alleged joint employers today.  General Counsel representatives will continue efforts to settle the meritorious charges, notwithstanding issuance of the complaints.  Additionally, of the 291 charges filed, 11 cases were resolved and 71 cases remain under investigation. 

13 complaints involving 78 charges against McDonald’s USA, LLC, McDonald’s USA franchisees and/or McDonald’s franchisees and their franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC as joint employers issued in the below Regional offices.       

  • Region 2 - Manhattan
  • Region 4 - Philadelphia
  • Region 7 - Detroit
  • Region 10 - Atlanta
  • Region 13 - Chicago
  • Region 14 – St. Louis
  • Subregion 17 – Kansas City
  • Region 15 – New Orleans
  • Region 18 - Minneapolis
  • Region 20 – San Francisco
  • Region 25 - Indianapolis
  • Region 28 - Phoenix
  • Region 31 – Los Angeles

Meritorious allegations of unlawful conduct committed by McDonald’s franchisees and/or their franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC, occurring in more than one, and often multiple, locations around the country include:  discriminatory discipline, reductions in hours, discharges, and other coercive conduct directed at employees in response to union and protected concerted activity, including threats, surveillance, interrogations, promises of benefit, and overbroad restrictions on communicating with union representatives or with other employees about unions and the employees’ terms and conditions of employment.

In the interest of conserving public and private resources and to avoid unnecessary delay, the NLRB has scheduled consolidated hearings in three Regional locations in the Northeast, Midwest and West to address violations that require remedial relief as soon as possible.  Absent settlement, the initial litigation will commence on March 30, 2015, and will involve allegations of unlawful actions committed against employees at McDonald’s restaurants in the jurisdiction of six Regional Offices. 

Specifically, the hearing will begin in Region 2 - Manhattan to address allegations in the complaints of Region 2 and Region 4, then will move to Region 13 – Chicago to address allegations in the complaints of Region 13 and Region 25, and will conclude in Region 31 – Los Angeles to address allegations in the complaints of Region 20 and 31.   It is anticipated that hearings involving the allegations in the complaints issued by the other seven Regional offices will be scheduled after the initial litigation before an Administrative Law Judge, if those allegations cannot be resolved through settlement.  

Additional case information and docket activity are available at nlrb.gov.

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