The Wall Street Journal reported that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled  the McDonald’s Corporation can be treated as a joint employer with its franchisees in labor complaints. The ruling could have far-reaching implications for how the company deals with workers and the violation of their rights.

John Harrington sent the following response to the WSJ editorial board commenting on the recent ruling:

Last week’s NLRB ruling should be a warning that McDonald’s (MCD) management should heed.  By distancing itself from franchise owners for decades, the corporation attempts to avoid any liability for its failed practices.  This decision makes clear that MCD corporate management is in charge and legally responsible for working conditions and overall franchise policies.

Image courtesy of Mike Licht on Flickr

As an MCD shareholder and investment adviser, I have also been disgusted that the company not only continues to produce poor earnings performance, but targets its marketing of junk food to those most vulnerable:  young children.

MCD executives tend to ignore their most valuable resource, their employees.  It is certainly time for corporate management to protect their investors and other stakeholders, including their employees, by paying livable wages, not violating workers’ rights and no longer marketing junk food to young children.  This ruling makes clear that financial liability for MCD’s practices is at corporate management’s door.  Isn’t it time for the company to assume responsibility for NLRB labor violations, including layoffs related to organizing activities and failure to pay overtime?

John Harrington