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Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

"Let Brown ship for you": they pay their employees honestly.

The NYT reported in its April 20 edition that FedEx is saving as much as $400 million dollars a year by treating its drivers as "independent contractors" rather than employees.  UPS, on the other hand, acknowledges that its drivers are  employees and pays the appropriate taxes and insurance to cover them.

Even though FedEx tells its drivers what to wear, how to wear their hair, what to deliver and when and how, it claims they are not employees.  It requires them to purchase their vehicle thorough monthly installments and doesn't pay workers compensation, for example, if they are injured on the job.   It also denies the employees the right to unionize--on the argument that they aren't employees.  Basically, FedEx undercuts rates by cheating its employees of their legal rights.  The IRS and many states are investigating this claim, and so far FedEx has lost at every turn:  a California judge called its claim of "independent contractor status" for employees and elaborate ruse, given the "absolute control" it exercises over employees.  The IRS has ordered it to pay $319 million dollars in back taxes for 2002 alone.

The NYT identified one of FedEx's employees and used her as an example of the burdens that FedEx places on its "independent contractors".  After investing heavily in her truck for ten years, and paying insurance, tires, maintenance, etc., she was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer:  when she requested temporary leave from FedEx, she was fired.  The truck she had spent $40K on was repossessed.  FedEx claims it can treat her this way since, after all, she's not an employee.....

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262