Sometimes, you know the steamroller is coming and you have the ability to plan for its arrival.
In Is the Franchise Apocalypse Upon Us? – Court disregards independence of franchisor/franchisee, we discussed the relevance of pre-planning for what we see are inevitable changes of the law in several areas. jboutrous furthered that proposition in Is McDonald's a "Joint Employer" With Its Franchisees?
Like death and taxes, we are able to foresee the future. First, the lines between Franchisee and Franchisor are blurring with each court or administrative decision. Because the issue of whether independence is usually a question of fact for trial, absent proper record keeping, clear documents and agreements, and crystal clear lines of demarcation between franchisor and franchisee, more and more franchisors will face liability for the wrongs of their franchisees. In fact, the converse may also be true. Second, the place of most vulnerability is data security.
In fact, just today, Dairy Queen announced its in-store POS system was compromised, and now must implement steps arising from this compromise. We, of course, have written and spoken extensively about Data Protection and what to do in the event of a breach.
Risk management takes planning. Plan for the steamroller. Good counsel can help you to design and implement practices which help to limit up- or down- stream exposure.