In a landmark challenge to traditional labor law, the National Labor Relations Board is attempting to lump together McDonald’s and its independent franchises as joint employer, which leaves many questions on what this could mean for other collective benefit plan structures.

NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. said his office has “found merit” in some of the charges against the world’s largest fast food company and will name McDonald’s as a joint employer respondent. But as Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s plans to figure out where the company will end up, labor lawyers that represent large and small employers with similar employment and labor disputes offer a roadmap of likely scenarios.

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