The Trump administration has revoked Obama-era guidance protecting “joint employer” worker rights, providing a huge boost to companies that operate franchise models and use contractors, such as McDonald’s (MCD) and Uber.

In 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) claimed that workers should be considered employees of a company if they are “economically dependent” on it, as part of a policy that took aim at firms that run franchising models or use independent contractors. Under the guidance, which has now been rejected by the Trump Administration, companies such McDonald’s were made fully responsible for staff employed by its many franchises and Uber for the hundreds of thousands of U.S. drivers that work using its app. (See also: Unfair Employee Treatment Cost Companies $16 Billion.)

In short, the introduction of these guidelines ensured that employees at McDonald’s franchises could take legal action against the parent company, rather than the franchise they work for. The same rights were afforded to Uber drivers, who until that point were not given perks normally reserved to standard employees, such as overtime pay and unemployment insurance. (See also: McDonald's Is Desperate to Modernize Its Franchisees.)

The rules regarding both franchise workers and contractors, which are still available to view here and here, have now been taken down from the DOL's website, reported Buzzfeed.

The fast food industry was quick to celebrate the rescinding of the "joint employer" guidance. Industry group the International Franchise Association (IFA) described the guidance as "one of the most costly and burdensome regulations impacting the franchise business model,” in a statement.

“While uncertainty surrounding the new joint employer standard has made it harder for America’s 733,000 franchise owners to grow and create new jobs, we are pleased the DOL is taking first steps to undo this costly regulation,” Matt Haller, the IFA’s vice president of public affairs, said.

Alex Passantino, former acting administrator of the Labor Department’s wage and hour division, added that the change will likely result in "the Department of Labor pursuing fewer cases at the national level, and more cases ending at the local level, without efforts to pursue up-chain to a corporate franchisor or upper tier contractor,” according to



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