7-Eleven Beats Franchisees’ Claims That They Were Misclassified as Independent Contractors

Earlier today, federal judge Dale Fischer in California issued a decision after a lengthy non-jury trial earlier this year, concluding that four 7-Eleven franchisees had been properly classified as independent contractors and were not employees under applicable California law. The decision is not a validation that all franchisees are independent contractors. To the contrary, Judge Fischer pointed out how the facts in this case differ considerably from those involving commercial cleaning franchisees. Further, the decision today does not involve the infamous California “ABC” test for determining independent contractor status. Nonetheless, the decision shows that longstanding and well-established franchisors like 7-Eleven can prevail in these types of cases when the legal standard is a multi-factor test focusing on whether the franchisor has properly avoided directing and controlling the manner and means by which the franchisee provides services.  

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