Franchise Alerts

The Massachusetts Supreme Court has held that franchisees may be employees entitled to benefits of employment laws.  The “right to control” test applies.

The Court in Depianti v. Jan-Pro Franchising Intern., Inc.— N.E.2d —-465 Mass. 607 (2103 ) held:

Assuming without in any way suggesting that Depianti was working as an employee of Jan–Pro, and not as an independent contractor, Jan–Pro’s contractual arrangement with Bradley, if enforceable, would provide a means for Jan–Pro to escape its obligation, as an employer, to pay lawful wages under the wage statute, G.L. c. 149, § 148. To allow such an “end run” around G.L. c. 149, § 148, would contravene the express purpose of the statute and would nullify the provision therein that specifically forbids this type of arrangement “by a special contract with an employee or by any other means.” G.L. c. 149, § 148. See DiFiore, supra.