UniFirst Corporation is a uniform rental company based in Wilmington, Massachusetts, United States, that manufactures, sells, and rents uniforms and protective clothing. UniFirst employs more than 12,000 people and has over 230 facilities in the United States, Canada, and Europe, including customer service centers, nuclear decontamination facilities, cleanroom locations, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants. UniFirst was founded in 1936 by the Croatti family, under the name of National Overall Dry Cleaning Company. The company began in a horse barn that had been converted into a makeshift laundry and its equipment consisted of a single washing machine and a delivery truck. It served Boston area factory workers and other laborers, whose heavy soiled work clothing needed to be cleaned frequently. The National Overall Dry Cleaning Company was incorporated in Massachusetts on October 6, 1950. In the 1980s, UniFirst was sued by residents of Woburn, Massachusetts in a class-action lawsuit. The residents alleged that Unifirst, along with two other firms, had released pollution that had leaked into the water supply, and that this was a cause of increased instances of leukemia in the town. UniFirst settled with the residents without going to trial, for a sum of one million dollars. This episode was featured in the non-fiction book A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr. As of 2009, UniFirsts enivronmental record has improved; it has received awards for its water treatment processes from the Missouri Water Environment Association and the Water and Wastewater Utility Special Service Division of Austin, Texas, among others.