United States District Court, D. Connecticut
SIMON MUJO and INDRIT MHARREMI, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
JANI-KING INTERNATIONAL, INC., JANI-KING INC., and JANI-KING OF HARTFORD, INC., Defendant.
RULING ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mujo and Indrit Muharremi, on behalf of a putative class of
over 100 Jani-King franchisees (collectively
“Plaintiffs”), have sued Jani-King International,
Inc., Jani-King, Inc., and Jani-King of Hartford, Inc.
(collectively “Jani-King”). In this diversity
action, Mr. Mujo and Mr. Muharremi allege that Jani-King has
unlawfully classified them as independent contractors under
the Connecticut Wage Law, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-58
et seq., and that the various fees, costs, client
sales tax, and charge backs under Jani-King's franchise
agreement violate Section 31-72 of the Connecticut General
now move for reconsideration of the Court's March 31,
2018 Order, granting in part and denying in part
Jani-King's motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint.
following reasons, the motion is DENIED.
FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
provides commercial cleaning services to its customers. Am.
Compl. ¶ 15. Jani-King franchisees, two of whom are Mr.
Mujo and Mr. Muharremi, conduct these cleaning services.
Id. To carry out their business, Jani-King, under
the terms of a franchise agreement (“Agreement”),
allegedly enters into independent contractor relationships
with individuals who then perform janitorial work for
Jani-King customers. Id. Jani-King allegedly
required all members of the putative class to sign
substantially similar agreements before working for
Jani-King. Id. ¶ 16.
the terms of these agreements, Jani-King allegedly required
Plaintiffs to pay an initial and non-refundable franchise fee
down payment, a condition predicate for Jani-King providing
them with the opportunity to perform cleaning services under
Jani-King's cleaning contracts between Jani-King and
their customers. Id. ¶ 17. Mr. Mujo and Mr.
Muharremi and a subset of the putative class members
allegedly paid the down payment to Jani-King as a lump sum at
the time of entering into the contract. Id. A second
subset of putative class members allegedly paid a portion of
the down payment at the time of entering into the contract
and paid the outstanding balance as monthly deductions drawn
from the compensation paid to them by Jani-King. Id.
allege that they are not free from Jani-King's control
and direction with respect to Plaintiffs performance of
services, under the terms of the Agreement. Id.
¶ 20. Plaintiffs also maintain that Jani-King's
methods, procedures, and policies with which Jani-King
requires Plaintiff to comply “are numerous and detailed
and control the manner in which Plaintiffs and the putative
class members must perform their tasks.” Id.
also maintain that Jani-King deducts monthly various sums of
money from their wages, including royalty fees, advertising
fees, finder's fees, accounting fees, technology fees,
complaint fees, services fees, non-reported business fees,
client sales tax, lease deductions, and various other fees.
Id. ¶ 23.
filed this lawsuit on December 5, 2016, and, on February 9,
2017, filed an Amended Complaint, alleging two counts: (1)
Jani-King has violated the Minimum Wage Act; and (2)
Jani-King has been unjustly enriched. ECF Nos. 1, 41.
March 31, 2018, the Court dismissed Count One of the Amended
Complaint, except to the extent that the various fees and
deductions required under the Agreement may violate public
policy, as expressed by Section 31-73(b) of the Connecticut
now move for reconsideration, or, in the alternative, for the
Court to certify the question for definitive resolution ...