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Trump’s Labor Department Just Made It Harder for Fast-Food Workers to Sue Corporations

Plus, Colonel Sanders launches a DJ career, and more news to start your day


So it’ll probably be harder for workers to get compensation

The U.S. Labor Department is reportedly set to bring in laws that would prevent workers at franchised restaurant chains from suing their corporate overlords for labor violations. That means, for example, if a franchised McDonald’s restaurant (i.e. most of them) failed to pay employees correctly, those employees could only sue the franchise owner, and not the parent company — McDonald’s. The laws are a fairly solid reversal of the current situation, implemented during the Obama era. They were announced by Trump appointee Alex Acosta, are appropriately being criticized as a way for fast food giants to evade responsibility for the mistakes of the people to whom they decide to grant franchises.

As Splinter points out, the law likely means employees who have been wronged are less likely to be able to extract the money they deserve, because generally speaking, restaurant franchisees are effectively small business owners with much lower incomes than a corporate megalith. Franchise restaurant owners often have relatively slim profit margins (and are already unhappy about rising minimum wages) — so if a franchisee is failing to pay, it could even mean that they’re totally out of money, and would never be able to pay out a wage complaint.

And in other news...

  • Colonel Sanders — or rather, a regular human with a large KFC-branded foam head — made an appearance at Miami electronic music festival Ultra over the weekend; Pitchfork has the correct take that this was “like some kind of hellish chyron from an all-too-imaginable near-future where our corporate overlords control every last pixel of information.” [Pitchfork]
  • Italian chain Buca di Beppo is the latest company to face a data breach, with the credit card details of over two million customers having been potentially exposed. [Business Insider]
  • In a teeter-totter-like reversal of strategy from just two months ago, Amazon now wants prices at Whole Foods to go back down. [WSJ]
  • 85-year-old actress and cookbook author Madhur Jaffrey has a new entry for her CV, as she dropped a video rapping alongside a Queens-based M.C. by the name of Mr. Cardamom. [NYT]
  • Julien Royer of Odette — the very French restaurant in Singapore that is apparently Asia’s top restaurant (over all the...non-French restaurants) — is now planning to open a casual restaurant in Hong Kong. [World’s 50 Best]
  • Cereal giant Kellogg is officially out of the cookie business, at it sold cookie companies Keebler and Famous Amos (among others) to Italian chocolate manufacturer Ferrero. [CNN]
  • Starbucks UK wants to follow in the footsteps of its American arm, covering college tuition fees for some of its staff — but the catch is they’ll have to attend Arizona State University online. [BBC]
  • Ace of Cakes star and Baltimore pastry chef Duff Goldman took to Twitter to prove that his wild marine life-themed wedding cake was indeed edible. [People]
  • Amy Schumer has dished some wine-specific details of her upcoming movie set in the Napa Valley, Wine Country, noting that much of the wine in the film is (perhaps unsurprisingly) fake: “I think I had my first glass of wine three days before we wrapped.” [Wine Spectator]
  • The cast of Queer Eye (minus Karamo) had a fabulous time on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night. [YouTube]
  • Chef and Serious Eats guy J. Kenji López-Alt says his infamous tweet about refusing to serve people wearing MAGA hats was a mistake. [Quartz]
  • And finally, AOC says that the croissants at LaGuardia Airport are too damn expensive (relative to the wages being paid to the people selling them). [Twitter]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]

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