The Massachusetts Supreme Court has held that franchisees may be employees entitled to benefits of employment laws. The “right to control” test applies.
The Court in Depianti v. Jan-Pro Franchising Intern., Inc.— N.E.2d —-465 Mass. 607 (2103 ) held:
Assuming without in any way suggesting that Depianti was working as an employee of Jan–Pro, and not as an independent contractor, Jan–Pro’s contractual arrangement with Bradley, if enforceable, would provide a means for Jan–Pro to escape its obligation, as an employer, to pay lawful wages under the wage statute, G.L. c. 149, § 148. To allow such an “end run” around G.L. c. 149, § 148, would contravene the express purpose of the statute and would nullify the provision therein that specifically forbids this type of arrangement “by a special contract with an employee or by any other means.” G.L. c. 149, § 148. See DiFiore, supra.