Franchise Law Update Blog

John is the editor of the firm's Franchise Law Update blog, which highlights 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.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Memorial Day The seeming confusion over Memorial Day, especially when we’ve lost almost 7,000 American servicemen and women in the wars we’ve been fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and against ISIS, for almost two decades, bothers me. I respect and admire our Veterans, but their day is November 11th. And I have the utmost respect for all those currently serving in uniform, including a number of whom I count as friends. But Armed Forces Day was May 21st–did you remember to fly your... More
  • Not a Joint-Employer? Franchisors Now Need to Prove the Negative in California A wage and hour case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, is the latest front in the joint employer battle.  In Vazquez, unit franchisees of a janitorial service system alleged that they were employees of the franchisor.  The District Court granted summary judgment to the Franchisor, based on a prior decision from the First Circuit. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit first decided that the First Circuit decision—a class action–was not res judicata for the action... More
  • Franchise Times Names Five Fox Attorneys as ‘Legal Eagles’ Fox Rothschild LLP congratulates Eleanor Vaida Gerhards, John R. Gotaskie, Jr., Elizabeth D. Sigety, Craig R. Tractenberg and Megan B. Center, who were featured among the 2019 “Legal Eagles” by Franchise Times magazine. The list highlights attorneys who have made significant strides in franchise law and were selected from nominations by their clients and peers. This is the sixth consecutive year Franchise Times has named Gotaskie and Sigety to the list and the fourth time it has recognized Gerhards and Center.... More
  • Restaurant Structural Change: The Opportunity Last time we asked, given the high number of restaurant concept bankruptcies and money sloshing around in the sector, is there still more upside than downside in the restaurant franchising sector? We can find the answer by looking at where we have been. The U.S. economy is experiencing the second longest expansion in our lifetimes, after recovering from the greatest recession ever. We are still feeling the effects of economic stimulus, low interest rates, recent tax cuts and government deficit... More
  • Restaurant Structural Change: The Challenge Imagine operating a single restaurant. The food keeps bringing them in, and prices are relatively stable. Consumer confidence is high, unemployment low, discretionary income rising, and people are going out more. Now multiply these variables as if we operated a chain of restaurants, and you will find small changes in any of these variables are multiplied exponentially and take a longer time to adjust for a restaurant chain. By looking across the industry, we can see that big changes may... More
  • Failing to Plan? Then Plan to Fail. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” That is true in any business, but particularly so in franchising.  Planning is more important in franchising because franchising leverages a business–expanding the horizon of the brand more than a single owner or operator could. Decisions on branding need to balance the effects on employees, franchisees, prospective franchisees and customers. Without proper planning, the brand will grow randomly, without alignment, and will never achieve the momentum necessary to... More
  • Did the D.C. Circuit Overrule or Uphold Browning-Ferris? Yes. On December 28, 2018, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the Browning-Ferris case. In this much anticipated decision, the Court of Appeals concluded that the National Labor Relations Board’s decision to enumerate a new joint employer test was a valid exercise of its authority. The Court of Appeals held, however, the NLRB failed to properly apply the newly created test. Consequently, while the Court of Appeals didn’t completely abrogate the NLRB’s ruling, the opinion frankly raises... More
  • Does GDPR Apply to Your Brand? Fresh Answers Here. Submitted by Odia Kagan, Partner & Chair of GDPR Compliance and International Privacy. Does the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply to my brand? This is a question with which many U.S.-based franchisors have been grappling since the GDPR took effect on May 25th. Six months later, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued, for public comment, guidelines on the territorial scope of GDPR. Below is a breakdown of the major questions and takeaways for US-based franchisors: 1. Do you have an... More
  • It’s Deja Vu All Over Again at the NLRB Copyright: vician / 123RF Stock Photo With apologies (and props) to the great Yogi Berra, it’s deja vu all over again at the National Labor Relations Board.  The Board has extended the commenting period on its proposed joint employer rulemaking for a second time. Comments to the proposed rule may now be submitted until January 14, 2019. And the Board will accept replies to comments submitted in the original comment period through January 22, 2019. We have blogged about this important issue... More
  • Are You Doing the Right Due Diligence as You Grow Your System? In our last post, we examined some of the types of risk that come with growth. In this post, we discuss some forms of diligence that may be used to better manage that risk. Diligence on Legal Matters Are there operating hour ordinances that might affect the business? How about limitations on operating hours or days by the landlord? For foreign expansion, the inquiry is whether it is even legal to sell the goods and services in the foreign market. In the... More