Should liability for wage violations fall on large companies or locally owned franchisees?

Apr 4, 2019

 A sign stands outside of a McDonald's restaurant February 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California

A sign stands outside of a McDonald’s restaurant February 9, 2009 in San Francisco, California; Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


On Monday, the US Labor Department released a proposal that would define the claims workers, franchisees, or contractors can make against big companies.

If the proposal is successful after a 60-day public comment period, it will undo the 2016 joint-employer criteria laid out but the Labor Department under the Obama administration. Those guidelines held companies like Carl’s Jr. liable for labor and wage violations committed by a franchisee. Supporters of the proposal say it will clarify confusion for workers about who is responsible for their protections while those who oppose the proposal say it’s a way for big companies to escape liability.

If you own a franchise, work for one, or are a franchisee yourself, how do you feel about this proposal? Do you think the companies at the top of the chain should be held responsible for violating worker’s rights or is it the responsibility of the franchisor to ensure they’re compliant? We’re taking your calls at 866-893-5722.


Suzanne Beall, vice president of government relations and public policy at the International Franchise Association; she also serves as their in-house counsel

Tia Koonse, legal and policy research manager at the UCLA Labor Center

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at

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