From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
Fast-food workers filed claims against franchisees of CKE Restaurants Inc. in 10 states, according to copies of charging documents obtained by Bloomberg BNA. CKE Restaurants' chief executive officer is Andy Puzder, President Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary.
Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. franchisees were hit with complaints alleging wage-and-hour violations, sexual harassment and intimidation for union-related activity, according to a Bloomberg BNA review of the documents. At least one claim among those filed with state and federal agencies accuses the franchisee of restricting workers’ activity under a franchise agreement with CKE.
The workers filed claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Department of Labor and state labor agencies. Allegations include not being paid for all hours worked, having to deal with leering customers, and being told not to speak with the press. Some workers received assistance from Fight for $15, a worker advocacy organization, or its affiliated groups.
A Republican aide on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 26 Puzder’s confirmation hearing would be delayed five days, to Feb. 7, to give Puzder more time to submit required disclosures (see related story). The claims by the fast-food workers were announced later the same day.
CKE should bear some responsibility because it chooses its franchisees, Cathy Ruckelshaus, general counsel and program director for the National Employment Law Project, told Bloomberg BNA Jan 26. Regarding the wage claims against the companies, for example, “if they can’t pay, then CKE is making low-road decisions about who it franchises with,” she said.
“The magnitude of these violations and the pervasiveness of them is that the culture of the company is not complying with laws,” Ruckelshaus told reporters in a Jan. 26 conference call.
A CKE spokesperson told Bloomberg BNA the company and its franchises are separate. “While we do not comment on pending litigation, we’d like to offer a reminder that CKE Restaurants is nearly 95% franchised,” the spokesperson said in a Jan. 26 e-mail. “Each of these 2,769 franchise stores are run independently and solely responsible for their employees, management and adherence to regulations and labor practices.”
Representatives for most of the franchisees couldn’t be reached for comment Jan. 26.
Rick Rountree, a spokesman for Boddie-Noell Enterprises, a Hardee’s franchisee, provided Bloomberg BNA with a statement that said the company “is unaware of any complaints being filed against the company regarding alleged unfair labor or pay practices. As a family-owned operator of Hardee’s restaurants for 55 years, we value our strong, positive relationship with our employees and are in full compliance with state and federal labor regulations.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at email@example.com
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)