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California

On October 11, 2015 California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 525, the California Franchise Relations Act, into law. The bill amends certain portions of the state’s franchise relationship statute, clarifying certain ambiguous provisions which found consensus between uniquely affected parties.

IFA removed its opposition to AB 525 earlier this year after working with other franchise groups to reach an agreement on a bill to send to Gov. Brown’s desk. The bill, which was originally introduced containing problematic components, was later amended to maintain the integrity of existing franchise law and clarifies a number of issues designed to protect the rights of both franchisors and franchisees.

IFA will continue to oppose any frivolous state or federal legislation the needlessly interjects the government into agreements entered into voluntarily by franchisees and franchisors.

Join IFA and others in the California franchise community as we descend on the Capitol in Sacramento on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 to discuss franchise issues with local lawmakers for our Annual California Franchise Day.


Pennsylvania

HB 1620 was recently reintroduced in the Pennsylvania legislature by Representative Peter Daley (D-49). The bill, which is another iteration of last year’s which failed to move forward, will create a so-called “Fair Franchising” legislation that would actually open up Pandora’s Box of ambiguity in contract terms that threaten the basic and proven tenets of the franchise business model.

The bill was referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee on June 24, 2015. IFA has taken necessary measures to meet with committee members and other stakeholders reiterate our concerns with the bill.

On October 24, 2015 the bill was heard before House Consumer Affairs Committee. Please click here for information and a recap of the hearing.

We will keep you updated with any other developments as they come up.

Please sign a Petition to support the current state of franchise in Pennsylvania.

Massachusetts

There are a number of bills percolating in Boston, MA this session. Most have put IFA on the defensive, but Senate Bill 1010 is a proactive piece of legislation we are supporting. IFA staff and members of the Massachusetts business community testified in support of SB 1010 earlier this year. The legislation would make clear that franchisees are not the employees of franchisors.

Conversely, the so called ‘living Wage Bills, HB 1773 & SB 1024 have been introduced and would establish a living wage rate for employees of big box retail stores and Quick Service Restaurants. The legislation would set a dangerous precedent of a franchisor as a joint employer. IFA is opposing the legislation on the grounds that small business owners should be able to determine the most competitive starting and subsequent wages for their employees within their respective industries and local economies. Both have been referred to the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development, but are not expected to be considered before the fall.

Please sign a petition to support the current state of franchising in Massachusetts.

New York

New York Franchises are Being Discriminated Against

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently created a Wage Board to examine wages paid in the fast food and quick service food industry. The board, which would discriminate against fast food and quick service restaurants, will examine whether wages paid "are sufficient to provide for the life and health of those workers," and to recommend what adequate wages should be to achieve those goals. Tasked with examining wages solely in the quick-service restaurant industry, the boards goal is to “recommend what adequate wages should be,” and is comprised of pro-labor members and Governor Cuomo’s political allies.

Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo has neglected IFA President & CEO, Steve Caldeira’s warning to, “do the right thing and consider a uniform wage increase for all businesses similar to that of Mayor Rob Emanuel in Chicago, who heeded franchisees appropriate concerns with discriminatory treatment.”

The Governor has egregiously circumvented New York’s legislative process through a self-appointed commission that has NO representation or input from the restaurant community. His motivations for targeting our industry involve politics and playing to certain interest groups.

In order to combat this offensive on New York businesses, IFA has partnered with the National Restaurant Association and the New York State Restaurant Association to form the Coalition to Save NY Restaurants. The coalition will fight this discriminatory approach to increase wages by serving as the voice for the nearly 20,000 limited-service restaurants driving New York’s economy and employing over 280,000 workers.

Please visit www.KeepNYOpen.com for more news and information on the issue.

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