Category Archives: Practice Areas

Cleaning Franchises

We have brought many cases representing groups of employees who allege they have been misclassified as independent contractors, in Massachusetts and around the country.

When companies misclassify their workers as independent contractors, these employees are often
deprived of many benefits including overtime pay, vacation pay, health insurance, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and expense reimbursements. Misclassified employees also do not receive unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. Companies that misclassify
employees as independent contractors save these significant costs and also do not pay the employers’ share of employment taxes.

We have won a number of important victories applying the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law.

The courts have granted our motions for summary judgment, ruling that workers were misclassified as independent contractors in cases we have brought on behalf of package delivery drivers, an oil delivery driver, exotic dancers, and cleaning workers.

We have also brought many cases representing cable installers who have been misclassified as independent contractors.

In April of 2013 we obtained a ruling granting class certification in a case against cable installment company Gab Telecom, Inc. Current and former workers of Gab Telecom, Inc. have the right to join this case to challenge their misclassification and recover unpaid overtime. If you, or anyone you know has worked for Gab Telecom, Inc., please contact us immediately.

Cable and Satellite TV Installers

We have successfully brought class action cases around the country on behalf of cable TV and satellite TV installation and repair technicians, who have been wrongfully classified as independent contractors and therefore denied lawful overtime, as well as being subject to unlawful deductions from their pay. We have brought such cases in the states of Florida, Michigan, Illinois, South Carolina, and Massachusetts.

Tips, Gratuities, and Service Charges

We pioneered litigation on behalf of tipped employees who have not received the total proceeds of tips and service charges paid by customers for their benefit. For more than 20 years, we have represented thousands of waitstaff in many dozens of lawsuits against restaurants, hotels, country clubs, catering companies, and other establishments that have failed to distribute, or have skimmed from, employee gratuities, or allowed these gratuities to be shared with ineligible employees (such as management or non-service employees).

We have won jury trials in several tips cases, as well as a number of ground-breaking appellate decisions, summary judgment orders, and settlements. Following our original work developing the law protecting tipped employees in Massachusetts, we have brought these cases around the country, including in Hawaii, Florida, New York, and California. In Hawaii, after two trips to the Hawaii Supreme Court, we established the right of waitstaff employees to recover under the wage laws for service charges not distributed in full to employees.

If you have worked as a service employee anywhere in the country, and have been required to share your tips with management or non-service employees, or have not received the total proceeds of service charges billed to customers, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

S.F.’s Moscone Center illegally kept servers’ tips, lawsuit alleges
San Francisco Chronicle | June, 2023

Is a dine-in service fee a tip? Former servers allege in suit they are owed gratuities from Jon and Vinny’s
Los Angeles Times | June, 2023

S.F. Marriott Hotel illegally kept $9 million in workers’ tips, judge says
San Francisco Chronicle | May, 2023

Calif. Supreme Court allows food servers to proceed with suit over ‘service charges’
San Francisco Chronicle | January, 2020

Hilton Hotel Accused of Swiping Staff Tips | April, 2017

Court revives SF hotel workers’ suit over tips
SF Gate | March, 2017

Four Seasons To Fork Over $4M To Settle Server Tips Suit
Law360 | October, 2013

Hawaii High Court OKs Worker Wage Suits Over State Tip Law
Law360 | July, 2013

Hawaii Supreme Court rules in favor of workers in hotel tip case
Star Advertiser | July, 2013

Tips Scams Revealed (video)
TEDxBeaconStreet | November, 2013

Starbucks restructures ‘shift supervisor’ position in Mass
Nation’s Restaurant News | January, 2013

Starbucks Workers Tips Suit Scores $14 Million Win Against Coffee Giant
The Huffington Post | November, 2012

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan: Challenging Corporate Power and Tips Abuse
Lawyers and Settlements | April, 2008

Logan skycaps win fight for tips
Boston Globe | April, 2008

Wave of tip pooling lawsuits snares more operators
Nation’s Restaurant News | October, 2006

Steak house may be liable for $2.5m Suit against Lynn may have wide effect
The Boston Globe | July, 2006

Overtime and Other Wage Violations

Much of our work involves cases challenging employers’ failure to pay overtime to their employees for working more than 40 hours per week. Employers often fail to pay time-and-a-half for hours worked beyond 40 per week by claiming that their employees are “exempt” from overtime. In many cases, employees are not actually exempt, even when they believe they are. Even employees who are “salaried” or receive high pay may be eligible to receive time-and-a-half for overtime hours if their employer has not followed various rules that are required for them to maintain “exempt” status.

We currently have cases challenging employers’ overtime violations across the country, including cases in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.  In 2015, we won a landmark ruling from the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals that store managers can be entitled  to overtime pay, even when they are classified as exempt from overtime.

If you have questions about whether you should have been paid overtime by your employer, feel free to contact us.

Will the new overtime regulations help or hurt the economy?
PBS NewsHour | May, 2016

The Legal Battle Over Wage, Hour & Overtime | See video here
American Law Journal | December, 2015

Dunkin’ Donuts manager eligible for overtime pay, court rules
The Boston Globe | December, 2015

A lawyer and her client weigh in on the overtime scam
PBS | June, 2015

Paramount restaurant sued on overtime
Boston Globe | May, 2015

Local carnival co. faces suit over low wages
The Daily News | June, 2013

Upper Crust pizza case now topped with poetic justice
The Boston Globe | December, 2012

Suit alleges Upper Crust took back workers’ pay
Boston Globe | July, 2010