McDonalds ruling could open door for unions

Written by New York Times | Updated: Jul 31 2014, 06:56am hrs
The general counsel of the National Labour Relations Board ruled on Tuesday that McDonalds could be held jointly liable for labor and wage violations by its franchise operators a decision that, if upheld, would disrupt longtime practices in the fast-food industry and ease the way for unionising nationwide.

Business groups called the decision outrageous. Some legal experts described it as a far-reaching move that could signal the labor boards willingness to hold many other companies to the same standard of joint employer, making businesses that use subcontractors or temp agencies at least partly liable in cases of overtime, wage or union-organising violations.

The ruling comes after the labour boards legal team investigated myriad complaints that fast-food workers brought in the last 20 months, accusing McDonalds and its franchisees of unfair labour practices.