On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board handed unions and the American workforce a major victory in declaring McDonald’s corporation as a ‘joint employer’ with it’s 14,000 US franchises of the fast food workers at all of their stores. This effectively puts McDonald’s on the hook with the franchise when the franchise is accused of labor violations.

Some of the labor violations include punishing workers for participating in union and other legally protected labor activities. The NRLB claims to have found 86 such cases and have included McDonald’s because of the influence the corporation holds over the franchises operations via their franchise agreements.

Needless to say McDonald’s denies the charges and disputes the NRLB’s over reach in the matter…since it strikes at the heart of franchise systems in general and McDonald’s in particular. McDonald’s contends that is the target of a union financed campaign and it’s business is under attack.

The NLRB plans to hold hearings in March of 2015!

The National Labor Relations Board on Friday designated McDonald’s Corp. as a “joint-employer” with franchisees at nearly 14,000 U.S. restaurants, delivering a big win to unions.

The board’s general counsel’s office ruled that the company violated the rights of employees openly seeking better pay and working conditions. Hearings are set for March on whether to pursue disciplinary steps.

In a statement, McDonald’s called the move an “overreach” and vowed to contest it. The company said it has been the target of a union-financed campaign and is only defending itself against an attack on its business.

The NLRB said it has found 86 cases in which the company’s unlawful conduct included sanctions against workers who had sought job improvements, including by participating in nationwide fast food worker protests.

Violations included firings, reduced hours, threats, surveillance and discriminatory discipline against workers who engaged in union or other legally protected activity, the board said.

The NLRB is a federal agency that resolves employee-management disputes in the private sector. It disclosed in July it had received 181 complaints against McDonald’s and its franchisees since November 2012.

The agency contends the company and its franchisees are joint employers of the fast-food workers. McDonald’s denies that claim.

The company wields such extensive influence over the business operations of its franchisees that it effectively is the top boss, the NLRB said.

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