Herb Chambers’ Owned Entities Deemed Joint Employer

A Superior Court judge has ruled that Herb Chambers BMW and Mini of Boston and Jennings Road Management Corp. (an entity wholly owned by Herb Chambers) are the joint employer of dealership employee.

Massachusetts Superior Court

SUMMARY: (court decision – opens in PDF)

“The case was tried without a jury by agreement of the parties to address the limited issue of whether Defendant Herb Chambers 1172, Inc. d/b/a Herb Chambers BMW and Mini of Boston and Defendant Jennings Road Management Corp. were joint employers of Plaintiff Sakiroh Tran. … Chambers, who is both the president of the Dealership and JRM, had the power to hire and fire the general manager of the Dealership, although not the employees under the general manager. Noailles, an employee of JRM who is physically working at dealerships, while not involved in hiring or firing, is involved in the decision making of whether or not someone is written up or disciplined. She also has the responsibility of setting up some trainings, such as the sexual harassment training which is setup and scheduled by JRM. JRM does have some say in the Dealership’s employee’s salaries. JRM received monthly financial statements from the dealerships. Noailles, a JRM employee, prepared each month’s statements for the Dealership and sent it to JRM. JRM representatives would review the monthly reports to see the profitability of each dealership. JRM might discuss with the general manager of a particular dealership their thoughts if payroll was more than it should be, based upon profits. So, although not directly involved in setting Plaintiff’s salary there is evidence that JRM played a role in determining the Plaintiff’s rate of payment. The Dealership’s employment records are accessible to JRM, though Noailles and though Chambers. JRM and the dealerships are intrinsically tied together. Chambers is the president of all of the dealerships, specifically his Dealership and JRM. JRM lawyers are responsible for the handbook for the employees of JRM and each of the dealerships. The handbook sets out important parts of employment such as breaks, vacation, and overtime. Additionally, while no one at JRM actually signed the Compensation Plans and Payment Plan executed by the Plaintiff and her General Manager, there is a space for a representative of JRM to sign. This demonstrates that JRM plays some role in the compensation of employees, otherwise there would be no need to include the name on said forms. In utilizing the four factors discussed in Baystate Alternative Staffing, Inc. [v. Herman, 163 F.3d 668, 675 (1st Cir. 1998)] and adopted in Jinks [v. Credico LLC, 488 Mass. 691, 703 (2021)], this Court finds that JRM was the Plaintiff’s joint employer.”



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