During the last 15 years, wage and hour lawsuits filed in federal court have risen over 450%. According to the Judicial Resource Center, 8,781 Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuits were filed in 2015, which is a 7.6 percent increase from 2014. This year has seen new federal labor proposed regulations, the fight for higher minimum wage, an increased scrutiny on independent contractor classification and joint employer status. Experts believe these events, changes and public awareness have contributed to the rising onslaught of wage and hour suits. 
The nationally recognized companies McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, 7-Eleven, Hampton Inn and Subway have built success by franchising their business locations. Individuals and businesses buy the rights and pay royalties to open up a franchise, and in turn share in the benefits of established brand recognition and proven business model. Traditionally, when a franchise location encountered legal trouble, only the licensee of that franchise could be held liable. However, a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision issued in December 2014 has demonstrated the potential to change where the liability lies between a corporation and its franchisees.