A former Handy Technologies worker has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against an on-demand cleaning company in the District of Massachusetts. In Emmanuel vs. Handy Technologies, Inc., the Boston-based worker claims the cleaning company illegally classified her as an independent contractor in violation of federal law. In her complaint, the woman argues that she should have been classified as an employee and also provided with Social Security and other benefits. Instead, the cleaner states she was classified as an independent contractor in order to shift labor costs away from the business.
In her lawsuit, the cleaner states her independent contractor status frequently resulted in wages that fell far below the mandatory minimum for employees. She also claims she was required to purchase a job-related cleaning kit from the company. In her case, the worker reportedly asked the court to order Handy Technologies to pay its cleaners minimum wages and offer reimbursement for work-related expenses.
In response to the proposed class action lawsuit, the cleaning business asserted that most contractors who use the app-based platform earn a mean hourly wage of about $17.00. The company added that it created economic opportunities for thousands of individuals.
Over the course of the past year, similar employee misclassification lawsuits were filed against Handy Technologies competitor Homejoy and ride-share services Uber and Lyft. In addition, a California Uber worker was recently declared an employee who was entitled to receive reimbursement for his expenses. If independent contractors are reclassified as employees, employers like Handy will be obligated to purchase both workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, an individual is an independent contractor if “the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.” Such earnings are subject to the Self-Employment Tax. In contrast, a worker is an employee if the payer has the legal right to control how any services are provided or performed.
Unfortunately, a severe workplace injury can leave a worker incapacitated or worse. Massachusetts employees who have been unable to work for at least five days as a result of a job-related injury are eligible to receive medical treatment and weekly financial compensation. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help.
If you were injured at work in Massachusetts, you should discuss your right to recover compensation for your harm with the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. Our skilled lawyers are here to help you recover the benefits you may be entitled to following a work-related injury. To speak with a veteran Massachusetts workers’ compensation advocate about your situation, do not hesitate to give Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C. a call at 800-367-0871 or contact us online.
App-based cleaning company hit with worker lawsuit, by Dan Levine, Reuters.com