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McDonald's and NLRB reach settlement in joint-employer case

The undisclosed deal ends years of litigation

McDonald’s said it has reached a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which accused the chain of unfair labor practices as “joint employer” of its franchisees’ workers.

McDonald’s did not reveal specifics about the settlement, only restating its firm position that it “is not and never has been a joint employer with its franchisee.” 

“The settlement allows our franchisees and their employees to move forward, and resolves all matters without any admission of wrongdoing,” McDonald’s told Nation’s Restaurant News in a statement released Monday.

“Additionally, current and former franchisee employees involved in the proceedings are receiving long overdue satisfaction of their claims.”

McDonald’s said the agreement is subject to final approval by the Administrative Law Judge. 

“While the settlement is not yet final, we believe this is major first step in ending this wasteful multi-year litigation,” the company said.

Labor activists have been protesting at McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants since 2012 over wage and other issues.  The NLRB eventually issued complaints against McDonald’s. The board alleged McDonald's was a “joint employer” of its franchisees’ employees, and it was therefore liable for their treatment.

NLRB could not be immediately reached for comment.

“Micah Wissinger, an attorney for Fight for $15, said the labor advocacy group opposes the settlement. The group maintains that McDonald’s should take responsibility for the firing of employees who fought for higher wages during organized protests dating back to 2012.

“Today’s proposal by McDonald’s is not a settlement,” Wissinger said in a statement. “In a real settlement, McDonald’s would take responsibility for illegally firing and harassing workers fighting to get off food stamps and out of poverty. We look forward to presenting our objections to the judge.”

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @FastFoodMaven

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