FedEx Ground drivers are granted class-action status in eight states
FedEx claims that its drivers are not employees, even though FedEX mandates their clothing, hours, routes, prices and practices. It even requires them to buy their trucks. This allows FedEx a significant advantage over UPS and other competitors by essentially enabling it to ignore state law rules governing employer-employee relations. Under the laws of most states, if an employer tells an employee how to do the job and controls working conditions, the employer cannot legally claim that the employee is an "independent contractor" and avoid payroll taxes and other related expenses and regulations.
This week an Indiana judge allowed drivers from Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, Utah, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina and Oregon to join together to challenge FedEx's predatory employee practices. The judge ruled that drivers from Colorado, Connecticut and Vermont could not join in the class action, due to variabilities in those states' employee rights laws. There are now 28 class action suits pending against FedEx, including one that has been certified nationally and which might govern 14,000 current drivers and 13,000 former drivers. The day before this ruling, a group of FedEx drivers in Florida lost their bid to treat a second case--involving FedEx's denial of overtime pay--as a class action.