Jeffrey H. Wolf, Partner

Franchise Law Insider Blog Feed

The Franchise Law Insider is your source for staying informed of legal and business developments that affect franchise systems. Our goal is to go beyond reporting and provide you with insight gained from years of experience in the franchise industry.

Recent Blog Posts

  • On March 2, 2016, Wisconsin Senate Bill 422 was signed into law. This bill clarifies that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee’s employees under several areas of Wisconsin law:  unemployment insurance, worker’s compensation, Wisconsin’s wage and hour laws and Wisconsin’s fair employment laws. Employer liability will attach to a franchisor as it relates to franchisee’s employees only where: The franchisor has agreed in writing to assume that role; or The franchisor has “exercised a type or degree of control... More
  • The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has weighed in on the joint employer issue, releasing an Administrator’s Interpretation (“AI”) setting forth the DOL’s position as it relates to joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. The joint employment concept under the FLSA is not new and the AI does not explicitly target franchising relationships, but it is important for franchisors to continue to review their relationships with franchisee’s employees in light... More
  • The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) Region Five Director (located in Baltimore) was recently asked to decide whether an environmental remediation contractor was a joint employer with its employee staffing firm, in the Green JobWorks LLC case. This is the first time that a Regional Director has looked at the joint employer issue since the Board’s controversial decision in Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. (“Browning-Ferris”), and applying the new broader joint employer test.  The Regional Director found no... More
  • In today’s global economy, it is increasingly important for companies to strategically develop and maintain an international trademark portfolio.  Effective trademark portfolio management is a key factor in maintaining the rights and value of an company’s intellectual property.  An effective portfolio management strategy includes determining which marks are critical to the company’s business goals, and developing a strategy that dictates how, when, and where the company will acquire its trademark rights. The timing of obtaining trademark protection on a global scale... More
  • When a trademark or service mark owner grants the right to use its mark to a third party, a license arrangement is typically created. The essential part of that arrangement is that the mark owner exercise quality control over the licensee’s use of the mark, so that the public can reasonably expect some consistent level of quality of the goods or services associated with the mark. Lack of quality control is known as a “naked license.” Naked licensing can sacrifice the... More
  • Franchisors should be aware of the “Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding ‘Unfair Methods of Competition’ Under Section 5 of the FTC Act” that was issued in August, representing the first formal policy statement regarding the FTC’s standalone authority under the “[u]nfair methods of competition” prong of Section 5 of the FTC Act.  Time will tell whether the policy statement merely reflects broadly accepted principles or whether it portends of an increased use of standalone Section 5 authority by the FTC. Most... More
  • The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s power to regulate corporate privacy and data security procedures under the Federal Trade Commission Act. Wyndham Worldwide was hit by three separate hacker attacks in 2008 and 2009, which resulted in the loss of personal and financial data for more than 600,000 consumers. The FTC filed suit, alleging that Wyndham’s cybersecurity procedures, which had failed to protect this data, violated the FTC Act’s prohibition on “unfair” acts or practices... More
  • In the franchise world, the old adage “if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind” applies. Franchise systems cannot remain viable and healthy without consideration of new products and services which add additional opportunities for profit, thereby enhancing brand strength. In so doing, franchisors need to be careful that they step back in a timely fashion with a jaundiced look to analyze their systems to see if they are in compliance with their own rules, regulations, and policies. Also, franchisees’... More
  • Congratulations to all the finalists and award recipients recognized on Thursday, May 7, at the 2015 Arizona Franchise Excellence Awards sponsored by Quarles & Brady in partnership with the Phoenix Business Journal. With many franchisee and franchisor leaders from the Phoenix area in attendance, the event was a huge success in bringing the franchise community together for the first time to celebrate and honor the contributions that franchisees and franchisors make to the economic success of our community. The award winners are: Lifetime Achievement... More
  • Hearings recently opened in the National Labor Relation Board’s controversial case accusing McDonald’s and its franchisees of anti-union activity under a joint-employer theory. Those consolidated hearings are set to occur in three locations, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, with the trial portion likely to start in mid May 2015. The case is being closely watched given the potential to expand liability to franchisors for the employment decisions and obligations of their franchisees and franchisees’ workers. While that battle is opening,... More