From the Washington Examiner comes the story of  Big Labor’s hope for an NLRB ruling that would make franchisees easy targets.

An upcoming National Labor Relations Board case involving complaints against McDonald’s may fix that problem for unions. The NLRB might decide that both the parent corporation and the local franchises are in fact joint employers.

Such a ruling would make no sense, the fast food industry contends. In a recent Hill op-ed, International Franchise Association President Steve Caldeira noted that all legal filings related to the employees, like their IRS identification numbers, are done by the franchises.

“Franchisees process their own payrolls and hire and fire their own employees. They also determine wage rates, benefits and work schedules,” Caldeira said. Franchisees and corporate parents file their taxes separately too.

Changing that understanding would be a tremendous win for Big Labor though, allowing it to focus its organizing efforts on a single corporate entity rather than the piecemeal approach it has been stuck with.

Independent franchisees be warned: if this ruling goes against you, your independence could disappear.