Franchise Law Update Blog

https://franchiselaw.foxrothschild.com/

For those with an interest in the world of franchising, the Franchise Law Update blog will become a regular stop for you. Our bloggers discuss not only the regulatory aspects of franchising, but also diverse topics such as business finance, employment, litigation and the protection of intellectual property including trademarks and copyrights. We understand that while franchising has its unique aspects, franchise businesses confront the same opportunities, changes and challenges as any other business.

Recent Blog Posts

  • DOL Opinion Letters are Back As a surprising new gift from the Trump Administration, the Department of Labor has decided that it will again start issuing opinion letters on thorny questions about the FMLA and the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division. For reasons that were never quite clear, the Obama Administration had done away with the practice; instead preferring to sporadically issue administrator interpretations. For employers, opinion letters are often more helpful as you can tell the DOL your specific facts... More
  • Ransomware: How Can You Fight Back? Ransomware is back in the news. Yet again, massive and not-so-massive corporate enterprises find themselves at risk of having their computer systems and records held hostage to internet raiders. And, in an added twist, this time systems are not necessarily unlocked even after the ransom is paid. Copyright: tonsnoei / 123RF Stock Photo What can you do? The key is advance preventative measures. Over at Fox Rothschild’s Privacy Compliance and Data Security blog, we follow these issues regularly. There, we have noted... More
  • Is Your Agreement to Arbitrate Valid? Many franchisors employ arbitration as its preferred method of dispute resolution.  Generally, courts view arbitration agreements favorably. An agreement to arbitrate waives the fundamental right to have a court decide the merit of their disputes. As such, valid, enforceable arbitration agreements are required to waive this essential right. Two recent decisions highlight the importance of ensuring that a valid agreement to arbitrate exists between the parties. Copyright: designer491 / 123RF Stock Photo Theo’s Pizza, LLC v. Integrity Brands, LLC In this case, the franchisee... More
  • Not a Minor Issue! FTC updates COPPA Compliance Plan This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidance for businesses on complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) .   If a website operator or operator of online services collects personal information from kids under 13, then the business must comply with COPPA.   The definition of “personal information” is broad and includes a child’s name, voice, address, photo, email address or telephone number.   COPPA encompasses a wide range of activities, including mobile apps and toys or other products connected to... More
  • What State’s Law Applies to a Non-Compete Agreement and Why Does it Matter? Employers frequently require employees to sign confidentiality and non-competition agreements.  In most jurisdictions, these agreements are both lawful and prudent provided that they are carefully drafted. In my practice, I draft confidentiality and non-competition agreements and litigate claims of breaches of those agreements.  In almost every agreement I either draft or review, there is a choice of law provision.  If I am drafting or editing the choice of law section, I do not just randomly select any state or a state... More
  • The Next Frontier in ADA Access Litigation: Online Copyright: byzonda / 123RF Stock Photo Are you ready for the next frontier in ADA Access Litigation? We invite you to read Part 1 and Part 2 in a series of posts by Fox partner Dori K. Stibolt, regarding the new trend in ADA Title III litigation involving access to the internet for the visually impaired. Many of these cases have focused on travel, hospitality, restaurant and service companies which necessarily include many companies in the franchise community.  Additionally, claims related to web access for... More
  • Massive Ransomware Attack WannaCry Spreads Worldwide Copyright: mikkolem / 123RF Stock Photo This past Friday, May 12th, ransomware known as WannaCry (also known as WannaCrypt or WCry) spread throughout the world, affecting more than 100,000 systems in 150 countries. Victims of the massive cyberattack included the NHS in the UK, cellular networks in Spain, universities in China and many other large organizations worldwide. For both franchisors and franchisees who are dependent on Windows systems, the attack highlights the significant risks and high costs associated with keeping cybersecurity... More
  • Tesla “Franchisee” Thwarted in Utah Tesla, the electric vehicle automaker, recently lost a round in the Supreme Court of Utah. Tesla set up a wholly-owned subsidiary called “Tesla UT” that was to hold a license to sell Tesla’s cars to the public. The Utah Supreme Court, in a narrow but unanimous decision, held that the arrangement between Tesla and Tesla UT amounted to an illegal automobile franchise under Utah law. The case turned on a relatively straightforward point of Utah law. To wit, in Utah, automobile... More
  • Debit Card Swipe Fees Only Hurdle to Dodd-Frank Repeal? Respecting a issue of great importance to the franchise community, Bloomberg Law this morning is reporting that repealing a cap on debit card transaction fees is the only issue holding up an otherwise unified Republican bill to revamp and largely repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017. Copyright: leaf / 123RF Stock Photo Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told Bloomberg that the cap on debit card transaction fees is the “single most contentious portion” of the repeal bill.  The cap,... More
  • Accidental Franchisor in Hot Water Safe Step Walk In Tub Co. (“Safe Step”) failed to take the requisite “safe steps” before potentially becoming an accidental franchisor. In Safe Step Walk In Tub Co. v. CKH Industries, Inc., Safe Step filed an action against a licensee, CKH Industries, Inc. (“CKH”) for breach of contract for non-payment of certain fees. CKH filed 22 counter-claims against Safe Step including violation of the Federal Trade Commission Rule on Franchising (“FTC Rule”) as well as the state franchise laws of... More