They might share a name, hours, and overarching rules, but according to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 7-Eleven franchisees are not direct employees of 7-Eleven. In the original employment lawsuit complaint, filed by a group of four franchisees, plaintiffs pointed to 7-Eleven’s restrictive rules, alleging they were unable to run a truly independent franchise and therefore qualified them as employees of the parent company. But the court ruled plaintiffs did not sufficiently demonstrate an employee-employer relationship. Our employment attorneys experienced in wage and hour lawsuits know this could set a significant precedent for current and future cases involving franchises.
According to National Law Review, plaintiffs attempted to make a case based on a few factors:
- The requirement that franchisees remain open 364 days a year for 24 hours a day.
- 7-Eleven distributes payments to all employees.
- 7-Eleven sets rules for pay practices, discipline, terminations, and performance appraisals.