McDonald’s and the NLRB urged the D.C. Circuit to reject a challenge to the company’s settlement of claims

( Reuters) McDonald’s USA LLC and the National Labor Relations Board urged the D.C. Circuit to reject a worker organizing group’s challenge to the company’s settlement of claims that it was jointly liable for labor-law violations by franchisees.

Ms. Wilcox an associate general counsel of United Healthcare Workers East and also a partner at the union law firm, Levy Ratner, represented a “Fight for $15” a group that sued McDonald’s in a joint-employer liability case that may be headed to the NLRB along with other SEIU suits that have Ms Wilcox’s fingerprints on them.

McDonald’s, which is represented by Jones Day and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld and the NRLB filed seperate briefs saying the settlement approved in 2019 after years of litigation provided remedies for every unfair labor practice alleged in the case.

“That relief was certain and immediate, unlike the drawn out likely years long process of further litigation of this already massive case.”

The case stemmed from charges that franchise workers filed with the board beginning in 2012 claiming that they were fired or disciplined for participating in union organizing activities.

However, McDonald’s has maintained that it does not exercise enough control over franchisees to be considered a “joint employer” of their workers under the National Labor Relations Act.

The FFWC filed an appeal with the D.C. Circuit in January after the board denied the group’s motion for reconsideration. FFWC claimed it had unearthed an internal NLRB memo showing that member William Emanuel, a Trump appointee, should have recused himself from the case because of potential conflicts of interest.

The settlement approved in December 2019 required McDonald’s to pay $20 and $50,000 to individual workers, but it did not include a concession that the company was a joint employer.

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