United States District Court, D. Connecticut
SIMON MUJO, et. al. Plaintiffs,
JANI-KING INTERNATIONAL, INC., et. al., Defendants.
RULING AND ORDER ON CLASS CERTIFICATION
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Mujo and Indrit Muharremi (“Plaintiffs”) allege
that Jani-King International, Jani-King, and Jani-King of
Hartford (“Defendants” or
“Jani-King”) unlawfully classified them as
independent contractors under Conn. Gen. Sat § 31-58
et seq. Plaintiffs now move for class certification.
following reasons, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification.
I.FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Mujo and Mr. Muharremi both performed cleaning services in
Connecticut. Second Am. Compl., at ¶ 2-3, ECF No. 41
(“Second Am. Compl.”). Simon Mujo entered into an
agreement with Jani-King on July 11, 2007 to perform cleaning
services, which required a $15, 000 non-refundable deposit.
Id. at ¶ 2, 17, 19. The relationship ended in
early 2016. Id. at ¶ 2. Indrit Muharremi is a
Connecticut resident who entered into an agreement to perform
cleaning services for Jani-King on April 23, 2014, which
required a $16, 250 deposit. Id. at ¶ 3, 17-18.
He continues to perform those services. Id. at
provides commercial cleaning services to restaurants,
buildings, retailers, hotels, government buildings, health
care facilities, stadiums, schools, and universities.
Id. at ¶ 15. Jani-King functions by allegedly
entering independent contractor agreements to provide
cleaning services to Jani-King customers. Id.
Defendant, Jani-King, Inc. is a corporation incorporated and
headquartered in Texas. Id. at ¶ 5. Jani-King,
Inc. owns Jani-King Hartford, Inc., an affiliate operating in
Mujo, Mr. Muharremi, and the alleged class all have performed
cleaning services for Jani-King. Id. at ¶ 16.
Plaintiffs allege that Jani-King requires all members of the
putative class to sign similar agreements to perform cleaning
services for Jani-King. Id. Under the terms of these
agreements, Jani-King allegedly requires Plaintiffs to pay an
initial, non-refundable down payment as a condition of
Jani-King allowing them to perform cleaning services under
Jani-King contracts and with Jani-King customers. Named
Plaintiffs and some putative class members submitted their
down payment to Jani-King as a lump sum at the time they
entered into the contract. Id. A second subset of
the putative class members allegedly paid a portion of the
down payment at the time they entered into contract with
Jani-King and paid or are paying the outstanding balance as
monthly deductions drawn from compensation paid to them by
also allege that Jani-King controlled the methods and
procedures of customer service. Id. at ¶ 20.
Jani-King's list of requirements is lengthy, but includes
requiring members of the putative class to:
• Complete a training program and pass an exam;
• Follow the Jani-King manual, which lists systems,
procedures, policies, methods, and standards;
• Perform cleaning tasks in a specified order;
• Dust horizontal as opposed to vertical surfaces;
• Wipe windows on a schedule;
• Spray disinfectant onto cloth, rather than the
• Use cleaning products meeting Jani-King
• Use a back-pack vacuum;
• Use dusters and cloth made from certain materials;
• Wear Jani-King uniform and name tag;
• Obtain a personal digital assistant or smart phone
capable of sending and receiving emails;
• Limit customer contact and how often putative class
members were required to meet with customers to discuss
• Use the Jani-King memo pad for written communication
• Submit performance forms and contact sheets to
• Prohibit any financial interest in a business
performing or related to cleaning services in any territory
covered by the franchise agreement or where a Jani-King
• Perform services according to a cleaning schedule;
• Submit to Jani-King quality control inspections; and
• Repeat Jani-King training if work is not in compliance
with Jani-King standards. Id. at ¶ 20.
Plaintiffs allege that putative class members are entirely
dependent upon Jani-King for their work assignments, and do
not maintain their own customers. Id. at ¶ 22.
Nor do putative class members engage in “an
independently established trade, occupation, profession or
business of the same nature as that involved in the services
they performed.” Id.
further allege that Jani-King deducts monthly sums from their
wages. Plaintiffs maintain that Jani-King deducts various
monthly sums from their wages, such as royalty fees,
advertising fees, finder's fees, accounting fees,
technology fees, client sales tax, ...