Bloomberg Law
Dec. 19, 2019, 11:04 AM

California Cleaners’ Battle Could Boost Gig, Franchise Workers

Erin Mulvaney
Erin Mulvaney

Jerry Vazquez paid $5,000 up front for the chance to run his own cleaning business. The appeal of a Jan-Pro International franchise was immediate: “Realize your dream of financial independence.” They’ll find the customers. No experience necessary.

That promise didn’t materialize for him. “I was never an owner. I was never an employee,” Vazquez said. “It was even worse. I was paying for a job.”

He and other janitors challenged the company’s business model in court more than a decade ago, long before the controversy over whether gig workers like those at Uber and Lyft should be considered employees. That ...

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