NLRB Determines McDonald’s IS the Boss

At the end of July, fast-food workers got a major win in the fight for $15 an hour and a union. For years, McDonald’s has alleged that it doesn’t have any control over the labor practices at its franchise restaurants.


On Tuesday, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board determined that McDonald’s is a joint employer that plays a critical role in employment decisions at all its restaurants.

In fact, the general counsel found that McDonald’s wields such extensive influence over the business operations of its franchisees that individual franchise operators have little autonomy in setting or controlling workplace conditions.

This determination carries widespread implications for the fast-food industry, and adds to extensive allegations made in class-action lawsuits filed earlier this year that the company is responsible for widespread wage theft.

Fast Food workers and community supporters rally in front of McDonald's on 16th St. Mall
Fast Food workers and community supporters rally in front of McDonald’s on 16th St. Mall

Time and time again, McDonald’s has tried to sidestep workers’ rights, inventing a make-believe world in which responsibility for wages and working conditions falls squarely on the shoulder of franchisees.

In the wake of the general counsel’s findings, Boston fast-food workers, along with supporters, took to the streets on Wednesday and held a rally at a downtown McDonald’s, calling on the $5.6 billion company to stop hiding behind its franchisees, pay its workers $15 an hour and respect their right to form a union without retaliation.

Bottom line: McDonald’s is the employer. And they need to stop trying to pass the buck.

If you are interested in joining the Fast Food movement please contact Andy Jacob, ajacob@seiu105.org or 303-727-8009.