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McDonald’s, NLRB Offer Settlement to Avoid ‘Joint Employer’ Ruling

WASHINGTON—On Mar. 20, McDonald’s asked National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Lauren Esposito to approve a settlement of an unfair-labor-practice case that would give workers back pay without holding the company a “joint employer” responsible for its franchisees’ actions. The move came the day the trial was supposed to resume in a lawsuit in which franchise employees allege that they were fired for joining protests for a $15-an-hour wage. NLRB general counsel Peter Robb had asked for the trial to be suspended for 60 days in January to seek a settlement, on the grounds that the board had reversed an Obama-era ruling that could have had McDonald’s held a joint employer of franchise workers. The NLRB said the proposed settlement would “represent a full remedy for the employees.” “Today’s proposal by McDonalds is not a settlement. In a real settlement, McDonald’s would take responsibility,” Micah Wissinger, an attorney for the Fast Food Workers Organizing Committee, told the Los Angeles Times. “We look forward to presenting our objections to the judge.” The NLRB voided its joint-employer reversal last month, on the grounds that the board member who cast a deciding vote had a conflict of interest. Read more

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