It’s becoming more and more important to hire a lawyer who specializes in franchise law if you run a company involved in franchising. Recent legal developments pose serious new challenges for franchise companies. For example, the National Labor Relations Board changed its rules about employer liability during 2015. The revised rule treats franchisees and franchisors as joint employers in many situations. This means both parties could suffer when current or former staff members initiate lawsuits. Harold Kestenbaum franchise lawyer knows all about this issue.
Additionally, the federal government has proposed major adjustments to overtime rules. They could go into effect as soon as late 2016. Although the details remain unclear, regulators will probably increase the minimum yearly income for overtime exemptions. This amount may rise to $40,000 or $50,000 and start increasing with inflation. The government could also enact stricter rules to reduce the number of workers who don’t qualify for overtime.
These and other changes increase the likelihood that franchised businesses will encounter complex legal disputes. For instance, a staff member could bring lawsuits against both joint employers when a supervisor breaks overtime rules or fails to maintain safe working conditions. Franchisors also face franchisee legal action under various circumstances, such as when supply expenses are deemed exorbitant. A lawyer who specializes in franchise law can help defend businesses in any of these situations.
When franchise companies write disclosure documents for franchisees to read, it is vital for franchisors to hire attorneys with the appropriate expertise. These lengthy, complicated documents must contain accurate information so as to protect companies from lawsuits. Many franchisees pay lawyers to examine such documents. They can take legal action against franchisors if a disclosure document contains false or misleading data that causes them to make unwise business decisions.
Unlike general practice attorneys, specialist often have experience developing franchise-specific documents. They also know the latest federal and state franchising regulations. Only about one out of every 500 U.S. attorneys focus on these laws. If you need a lawyer with franchise experience, think about hiring Harold Kestenbaum. He has worked in this field for over three decades, co-founded a franchise consulting service and created a successful book about franchising.