Copyright:  / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

On March 4, 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly introduced SB0475 and HB0757, two bills which, according to the 2015-2016 109th Tennessee General Assembly website, would amend Title 47 and Title 50 of the Tennessee Code and “clarify that neither a franchisee nor a franchisee’s employee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisor for any purpose, notwithstanding any voluntary agreement between the U.S. department of labor [Federal National Labor Relations Board] and a franchisee.”
The proposed legislation is intended to combat the widely publicized complaints filed by the NLRB against both McDonald’s and its franchisees opining that both are joint-employers which we have blogged about previously on numerous occasions. It is unlikely that the law, if passed, would have an impact in a case before the NLRB if the NLRB adopts the general counsel’s position. It would, however, effect other future state based employment litigation in Tennessee concerning the joint-employer issue in the franchise industry. Therefore, we will be closely monitoring this legislation along with any other similar legislation proposed by other states.