Fast food workers will be allowed to sue McDonald’s, which is responsible for the labor violations of its franchisees, the National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday.
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NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin determined that McDonald’s should be considered a “joint employer” along with the franchise owners that operate thousands of stores around the country.

Labor groups hailed the decision, saying that McDonald’s can no longer shy away from its responsibilities as an employer.

“McDonald’s can try to hid behind its franchisees, but today’s determination by the NLRB shows there’s no two ways about it: The Golden Arches is an employer, plain and simple,” said Micah Wissinger, the lawyer who is representing the restaurant’s employees in New York City. “The reality is that McDonald’s requires franchisees to adhere to such regimented rules and regulations that there’s no doubt who’s really in charge.”

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