Posts tagged "Cleaning"

Da Costa, et al. v. Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-021-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS   MIDDLESEX, ss.                                                                                        SUPERIOR COURT                                                                                                                        CIVIL ACTION 15-04743   LUIZ THOMAZ DA COSTA & others[1] vs.   VANGUARD CLEANING SYSTEMS, INC.   MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS’ CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DEFENDANT’S CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT   The plaintiffs, Luiz Thomaz Da Costa and others, and the defendant, Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Inc. (“Vanguard”), have filed cross motions for summary judgment seeking a ruling on the plaintiffs’ employment classification status under the laws of Massachusetts and Connecticut in connection with commercial cleaning work which the plaintiffs claim they performed on behalf of Vanguard. G.L. c. 149, § 148B; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-222(a)(1)(B).  After hearing, and upon review and consideration, the plaintiffs’ cross-motion for summary judgment is ALLOWED, and Vanguard’s cross-motion for summary judgment is DENIED. BACKGROUND   The undisputed facts, and any disputed facts viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, are as follows.  Additional facts are reserved for discussion below.[2] Vanguard is a corporation headquartered in California that operates a three-tier franchise system selling commercial cleaning services.  Vanguard sells licenses to use its name and trademarked Vanguard Cleaning Systems in defined geographic areas to regional master franchisees.  Regional master franchisees, in turn, enter into franchise agreements with unit franchisees, which conduct commercial cleaning. [3]  Vanguard receives four percent of regional master franchisees’ gross revenue, which consists of payments for commercial cleaning and fees levied on unit franchisees.[4]  Vanguard solicits business through national sales bids, and offers quotes to prospective customers on its website; Vanguard’s website forwards cleaning account leads to regional master franchisees. Regional master franchisees implement Vanguard’s commercial cleaning framework.  Vanguard provides regional master franchisees with extensive operating instructions, forms, and templates.  Vanguard authored the franchise agreements that regional master franchisees and unit franchisees execute, but is a non-signatory to these agreements.  Vanguard also drafted the franchise disclosure document, operations manual, cleaning safety manual, and commercial cleaning information manual.  Additionally, Vanguard supplies regional master franchisees with accounting software and templates, which include franchise agreements and account acceptance forms. Unit franchisees must meet current and future standards outlined in Vanguard’s operations manual.  Vanguard requires that unit franchisees form independent entities to conduct cleaning services.  Vanguard prohibits unit franchisees from billing client accounts for cleaning supplies; unit franchisees must purchase their own supplies.  Vanguard imposes minimum standard service requirements, along with detailed instructions on how to clean commercial spaces.  Vanguard also requires that unit franchisees attend a mandatory training program, and emphasizes that unit franchisees are subject to Vanguard’s quality control standards. Vanguard outlines a series of inspections and oversight methods in its operations manual.  For example, Vanguard representatives routinely conduct room-by-room quality control inspections if the client […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 25, 2017 at 7:32 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

George, et al. v. National Water Main Cleaning Company, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-110-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12191   ROBERT GEORGE & others[1]  vs.  NATIONAL WATER MAIN CLEANING COMPANY & others.[2]       Suffolk.     February 14, 2017. – June 26, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Supreme Judicial Court, Certification of questions of law.  Massachusetts Wage Act.  Labor, Wages, Failure to pay wages, Damages.  Damages, Interest.  Interest.  Judgment, Interest.  Practice, Civil, Interest, Judgment, Damages.       Certification of a question of law to the Supreme Judicial Court by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.     Adam J. Shafran (Jonathon D. Friedmann also present) for the plaintiffs. Richard L. Alfred (Dawn Reddy Solowey & Anne S. Bider also present) for the defendants. John Pagliaro & Martin J. Newhouse, for New England Legal Foundation, amicus curiae, submitted a brief. Annette Gonthier Kiely, Kathy Jo Cook, Thomas R. Murphy, & Timothy J. Wilton, for Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, amicus curiae, submitted a brief.     GANTS, C.J.  Several employees of National Water Main Cleaning Company filed a class action suit against the company and its parent company, Carylon Corporation, in the Superior Court, alleging, among other claims, nonpayment of wages in violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act, G. L. c. 149, §§ 148, 150 (Wage Act).  After the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the judge granted final approval of a class settlement agreement that resolved all outstanding issues except one question of law.  To resolve that question, the judge certified to this court the following question pursuant to S.J.C. Rule 1:03, as appearing in 382 Mass. 700 (1981): “Is statutory interest pursuant to [G. L. c. 231, § 6B or 6C,] available under Massachusetts law when liquidated (treble) damages are awarded pursuant to [G. L. c. 149, § 150]?”   In answer to the question, we declare that, under Massachusetts law, statutory prejudgment interest pursuant to G. L. c. 231, § 6H, shall be added by the clerk of court to the amount of lost wages and other benefits awarded as damages pursuant to G. L. c. 149, § 150, but shall not be added to the additional amount of the award arising from the trebling of those damages as liquidated damages.[3] Interpretation of the certified question.  Before we answer the certified question, which the judge issued at the joint request of the parties, we must first ascertain its […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Street Cleaning Begins Bostonwide on April 1st

Street sweeping in Boston is back Bostonwide starting as of April 1st. This year, many Boston neighborhoods will see a different daily schedule to better align with trash and recycling days, a pilot program that started in the South End last year. Street sweeping in the South End officially began on March 1st, although winter weather kept the program from starting until the end of the month.  “Keeping Boston’s neighborhoods clean is a top priority of mine, as well as our residents,” Mayor Menino said. “These schedule changes will allow us to clean streets in a way that improves our operations and maximizes the benefits of sweeping. I look forward to seeing our neighborhoods shine once again this spring.” The neighborhoods most affected by the new street sweeping schedule will be Jamaica Plain and most of Dorchester and Mission Hill.  The city says aligning street sweeping with trash days will will provide cleaner streets and a reduction in rodent food sources. There are 6,500 new signs posted in those neighborhoods.  The program runs until November 30, except in the neighborhoods with an extended schedule, such as Beacon Hill, the North End and the South End, where street sweeping will continue into December. A street sweeping violation will get you towed, and a $ 40 ticket. If you’re worried about getting your car towed, you can sign up for the city’s No Tow program which will email you the night before your neighborhood’s streets are swept.   Neighborhood streets throughout the city will be swept clean on a rotating schedule  Additional tips for residents from the city: Signs for both day and night sweeping are posted in your neighborhood, a minimum of one per block, and indicate the days and hours that parking is not allowed. Residential streets are typically swept during the day program. Main arterials and the downtown areas are swept in the night program. Public Works has changed the 2013 posted days/hours for many residential streets to provide more effective street sweeping. It is important to note the posted signs in your immediate neighborhood since they may have changed since last season.  The night posted restrictions in all neighborhoods are in effect year round with the exceptions of weather-related cancellations. The Daytime Neighborhood Street Cleaning Program runs from April 1 through November 30, except in Beacon Hill, North End and South End which have been extended into December and March by neighborhood request.  Both the night and day sweeping programs will be enforced, which includes fines for illegal parking as well as towing.  Comprehensive street sweeping information can be found at www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/sweeping. You can also register for posted street sweeping electronic reminders and cancellations […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 1, 2013 at 9:14 am

Categories: Arrests   Tags: , , , ,