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Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Inc.

Mazariegos, Gonzalez, and Amaya et al. v. Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Inc.
Case No. 20-CIV-04267 (Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo)

On October 1, 2020, we filed a putative class action against Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Inc., et al. (“Vanguard”). The plaintiffs assert claims on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals that worked for Vanguard and/or any of the named “master franchisors” in California (“Defendants”). Vanguard provides janitorial services, including green cleaning, commercial floor cleaning, cleaning for health, window washing, commercial pressure washing, among others to commercial offices, car dealerships, gyms, warehouses, and many other businesses throughout the United States, including in California. Vanguard engages hundreds of persons like Plaintiffs who are assigned to provide cleaning and janitorial services to Vanguard’s customers. The Complaint alleges that Vanguard classifies most of these individuals as so-called “franchisee” independent contractors yet treats them and the members of the putative California Class as employees within the meaning of California law.  Plaintiffs further allege Defendants are liable for various Labor Code violations including failure to pay minimum and overtime wages, failure to provide cleaners with meal breaks and paid rest breaks, unlawful deductions from wages, and unreimbursed expenses.

The plaintiffs brought the case as a putative class action under California law, and claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) seeking to recover unpaid overtime compensation, minimum wages, liquidated (double) damages, meal and rest period premiums, and other statutorily-permitted relief for themselves and other similarly situated cleaners. 

Our law firm has partnered with Jessica Riggin and Valerie Brender of Rukin Hyland & Riggin LLP, in Oakland, California in representing the plaintiffs in this case.

Type of Case

Misclassification of Independent Contractors


Am I eligible?

You may have a claim under state law if you worked for Vanguard in California as a cleaner at any time within the past four years.

Additional Information

Is This a Class Action? What Does that Mean?

This case is a potential class action under California state law. The idea behind a class action is that it allows one or more people to sue on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. In order to proceed as a group, though, the Court must certify the class. Because we are in the early stages of the case, this has not happened yet, but we intend to seek the company’s agreement or file the motions at the appropriate times asking the Court to grant these certifications.

How Do I Join This Case?

If the Court certifies this case as a class action, all cleaners who worked for Vanguard within the past four years will likely be automatically included, unless they choose to opt-out.

What Time Frame Does This Case Cover?

The statute of limitations for California state law claims in the complaint is as long as four years.

Do I Have to Pay Anything?

You do not have to pay anything if you join the lawsuit. We are handling this case on a contingency basis. This means we will only be paid if the lawsuit is successful in obtaining relief either through a settlement, award, or a final judgment, and that payment will only come out of that settlement, award, or final judgment.

How Do I Prove I Worked Overtime?

If you have records of the hours you worked, please preserve and keep them until we ask you for them. However, you do not need to have records of your work hours to make a claim in this case. If Vanguard did not keep accurate time records, most courts will permit you to estimate your work hours. Through this lawsuit, we will seek any records the company may have of your hours worked as well.

What About Retaliation?

It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against a person for joining a lawsuit to reclaim unpaid wages. If you currently work for Vanguard and you believe you may be the victim of retaliation for joining or participating in this lawsuit, contact the case clerk, Ignasi Dorca, at or (612) 256-3224 immediately.

How Long Will This Case Take?

The length of this kind of lawsuit varies from case to case, but they typically last one to three years.

Is There Money Available Now?

No. This is a pending lawsuit. There is no money currently available and there is no guarantee that you will receive money for joining the lawsuit.

How Can I Help?

If you know any cleaners that work or have worked for Vanguard that you believe may have been misclassified as an independent contractor, they should contact the case clerk, Ignasi Dorca, at or (612) 256-3224.

How Do I Learn More?

To learn more about this case, feel free to contact the case clerk, Ignasi Dorca, at or (612) 256-3224.

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