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The Legal Challenges of Business Disputes in Florida

Businesses can become just as emotional and difficult as personal relationships. When people enter into a financial agreement, they do so with the expectation of increased earnings and lasting professional connections. When opinions begin to differ and problems arise, business associates can find themselves on opposite sides on an issue, unable to find a compromise. Sometimes, the inability to settle a disagreement results in a courtroom dispute. Without adequate legal representation, your business and professional needs may go completely unmet.

McDonald’s Business Woes

Fast food giant McDonald’s is in the middle of a business dispute with major implications. According to a report by NBC News, the restaurant chain was recently dealt a huge blow when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that it is jointly responsible for the labor practices taking place within its franchised locations. About 80% of McDonald’s locations are franchised to independent operators, as listed on the company’s website. The company is reportedly arguing that franchise owners are solely responsible for the working conditions within the individual locations. A McDonald’s representative stated in the article that it “does not direct or co-determine the hiring, termination, wages or any other conditions of employment of our franchises.

The dispute reportedly stemmed from 181 complaints filed by franchise workers from across the country. The NLRB ruled that 43 of them are meritorious and further found that McDonald’s will be listed as a joint employer along with each franchise owner. The implications of this decision expand far beyond the golden arches. Franchises are a common business practice and, if upheld, the NLRB decision changes a major aspect of franchising, regardless of the industry.

The company has expressed its intent to fight the decision, according to the article. Responding to news reports, a company representative stated, “”McDonald’s will contest this allegation in the appropriate forum. McDonald’s also believes that this decision changes the rules for thousands of small businesses, and goes against decades of established law regarding the franchise model in the United States.”

Florida Franchise Laws

Franchise arrangements occur when an individual or group contracts with a company to offer its goods or services within a specific geographic area. Most franchises require a substantially large monetary investment and both parties are required to act in accordance with the terms of the franchise agreement.

Florida allows for franchise agreements within the state, but there are few governing statutes. The Florida Franchise Act prohibits the parent company from misrepresenting information about the franchising opportunity. As such, misstatements about the likelihood of financial success and the total required investment amount subject the company to liability and financial penalties. The parent company is also prohibited from selling more franchises than the relevant market can reasonably bear. When these regulations are not followed, a franchise owner can file suit against the parent company and collect compensation

If you are in a business related dispute, secure the services of an lawyer with the skills to get the compensation you deserve. Call the experienced lawyers of Pita & Del Prado, PA in Miami at (888) 670-8060 for a free consultation.

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