Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Coverall workers entitled to franchise fees

September 1, 2011

BOSTON — A ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court concluded that Coverall North America Inc. illegally collected franchise fees from a worker, according to The Boston Globe.

The ruling paves the way for hundreds of other workers who are involved in a class-action lawsuit with the cleaning company to potentially be awarded millions of dollars, the article stated.

According to the article, this ruling could also have a significant impact on similar cases against five other cleaning companies in the state.

The decision comes after a 2010 U.S. District Court of Massachusetts ruling that found Coverall had misclassified their workers, the article noted.

The workers, the majority of which were immigrants, were charged thousands of dollars in franchise fees to establish their own cleaning companies, but were treated as regular employees, the article added.

"The commercial cleaning industry has been plagued by companies such as Coverall that make their money by profiting off of their own workers,’" said lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan.

"The ruling will have huge ramifications on the commercial cleaning industry, as well as the trucking industry, adult entertainment industry and other industries that exploit their workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors," Liss-Riordan concluded.

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