International Franchise Association Announces Formation Of “IFA Law Center”
WASHINGTON – With the franchise model facing unprecedented regulatory challenges at the federal and state level, the International Franchise Association (IFA) today announced the formation of the “IFA Law Center.” The Law Center will add litigation to IFA’s existing government relations, public policy, media relations and educational programs that advocate for the protection, promotion, and enhancement of franchising.
In addition to a leadership team consisting of Matthew Haller, President and CEO of IFA, Mike Williams, CFO of IFA, Michael Layman, Senior Vice President, Government Relations & Public Affairs of IFA and Sarah Bush, General Counsel of IFA, the Law Center also has a 15-person Advisory Board comprised of franchise companies representing a cross-section of industries, including quick service restaurants, hotels, retail, health and wellness services, residential services and other key stakeholders in the franchise community. The Advisory Board will provide strategic guidance to the Law Center leadership based on the challenges and issues impacting franchisors, franchisees, employees, consumers and local economies.
“The IFA Law Center will serve as a valuable tool defending the interests of franchisors and franchisees alike,” said David Humphrey, Chair of IFA. “We have assembled a talented and nimble leadership team and recognize that litigation can be an essential element in a comprehensive strategy. We are grateful to have representation on our Advisory Board from a wide swath of industries and look forward to the Law Center making a meaningful and substantive impact to the franchising landscape.”
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its final rule expanding joint employment between franchisors and franchisees. The rule provides a path for franchisors and franchisees to be deemed joint employers based on a new, vague definition of “indirect control.” Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has increasingly scrutinized the franchise model in proposed rulemakings and requests for information, disregarding the unique attributes of the franchise relationship and contributions of the franchise model to the U.S. economy.
The IFA Law Center will be structured within the existing IFA infrastructure. Its Advisory Board and leadership team will meet quarterly concurrently with IFA board meetings.
Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the approximately 790,492 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs, $825.4 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.