Speaking to a packed room of attorneys and franchise executives, IFA Chairman Aziz Hashim spoke about a new vision of engaging franchise employees and the public during the opening remarks of IFA’s 2016 Legal Symposium. Mr. Hashim drew from his deep experience as both a franchisee and franchisor, noting that the success of the business model in creating a seamless consumer experience has led to the misperception that franchisors employ franchisees’ employees among the public and policymakers. This misperception, he says, has led to misguided policies like the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) nebulous joint employer standard.
While IFA’s efforts to educate the public, policymakers, and other influencers has been successful at gaining awareness of the issue, the inherent misunderstanding of franchising will take time to rectify. Mr. Hashim’s vision for the future includes part of the training program for every new employee of a franchisee to include an IFA-provided breakdown of what franchising is, and who the employee’s actual employer is. With over 9 million people directly employed in franchised businesses at any given time, it is paramount that employees are able to relay the positive message of franchising and its local impact. Mr. Hashim’s term as IFA Chairman looks like it will kick off the process of alleviating the misperceptions of franchising, much like his rousing words kicked off a successful IFA Legal Symposium.