Articles & Updates

Kansas Supreme Court finds FXG drivers to be Employees and not independent contractors.   Following are links to several of the articles:

BUSINESSWEEK | October 16, 2014
FedEx Ground Says Its Drivers Aren’t Employees. The Courts Will Decide

FORTUNE | October 10, 2014
Wage Watch: FedEx endures another legal blow, fortune.com

LANDLINE MAGAZINE | October 10, 2014
Kansas Supreme Court finds FedEx Ground misclassified drivers

NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL | October 8, 2014

Kansas Court: FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors

LEXOLOGY | October 6, 2014
FedEx hit with avalanche of independent contractor misclassification rulings 

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES | October 4, 2014
FedEx Drivers’ Victory: Kansas Supreme Court Says They’re Employees Not Contractors

BLOOMBERG | October 3, 2014
FedEx Drivers Win Kansas Top Court Ruling on Employment, bloomberg.com

FORBES | October 3, 2014
Kansas Supreme Court: FedEx Ground Drivers Not Contractors, forbes.com

WALL STREET JOURNAL | October 3, 2014
Court Says FedEx Drivers Were Employees, Not Contractors, wsj.com

NPR | August 28, 2014
Court Rules For FedEx Drivers In Suit Over Job Classification

 

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals finds drivers to be employees and not independent contractors under Oregon and California Law

Several of the certified class actions were remanded to their home state’s federal courts after Judge Miller’s summary judgment decisions.  In these states, there were individual claims that needed to be resolved before an appeal could be taken on the employment issue.  Two of the first of these states were California and Oregon.  We are pleased to report that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overwhelmingly found that the drivers were in fact employees, in two strongly worded decisions.

On August 27, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued significant opinions in two class action cases filed in California and Oregon holding that FedEx Ground pick-up and delivery drivers in those states were misclassified by FedEx Ground as independent contractors, ruling instead that they were employees as a matter of law under the common law right to control test of employment status.  Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., No. 12-17458 (August 27, 2014) and Slayman v. FedEx Ground Package System,  No. 12-3552 (August 27, 2014)The three-judge panel reversed orders granting of summary judgment to FedEx on the drivers’ employment status in both cases and denying the Plaintiff drivers’ cross-motions for summary adjudication on the same issue.  The court examined FedEx’s standard independent contractor agreement along FedEx’s extensive corporate policies and procedures for managing the driver workforce and had no trouble concluding the Plaintiff drivers were entitled to summary adjudication that they are employees as a matter of law under the multi-factor common law right of control test.

The Ninth Circuit correctly observed that the independent contractor agreement and the companion policies and procedures reserve such extensive rights to control all aspects of the drivers work – including requiring them to wear FedEx uniforms, to drive FedEx branded trucks, and to follow FedEx work rules and procedures – that no other conclusion could be drawn. The Court soundly rejected FedEx’s argument that the drivers purported “entrepreneurial opportunities”– such as the ability to hire additional drivers helpers and operate multiple FedEx routes — somehow negated the drivers’ employee status since those “opportunities” are controlled by FedEx.  (In FedEx Home Delivery v. National Labor Relations Board, 563 F.3d 492 (D.C. Cir. 2009), a divided panel of the D.C. Circuit attempted to reformulate the common-law “right to control” test on the same grounds using an analysis that has not been followed in any other jurisdiction).  The Alexander/ Slayman panel included two Republican appointees – Judges Stephen Trott and Alfred Goodwin — in addition to Judge William Fletcher, who wrote the majority opinion.  The decision is best summarized in Judge Trott’s concurring opinion, in which he praised Judge Fletcher for his meticulous analysis, and then on to note that while the decision unravels FedEx’s business model, FedEx did not have a right to exempt itself from the law. Judge Trott rejected the subterfuge on which FedEx’s business model is premised quoting Abraham Lincoln: “If you call a dog’s  tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?” His answer was, “Four. Calling a dog’s tail a leg does not make it a leg.”  FedEx’s exposure to the drivers for violations of California and Oregon’s state labor laws is likely to be in hundreds of millions dollars. FedEx  filed a petition for hearing and en banc review which the Court denied.

This rather unprecedented win was the subject of a flurry of news articles that focus on the issue of misclassification and these pending lawsuits.  Below is a collection of same.

THE ECONOMIST | September 6, 2014
Who’s the boss?

THE INFORMATION | September 4, 2014
Court Ruling on Contractors a Red Flag for On-Demand Services

THE NEW YORK TIMES | August 31, 2014
More Workers Are Claiming ‘Wage Theft’

ABA JOURNAL | August 27, 2014
‘Seismic’ 9th Cir. rulings nix FedEx claim its drivers aren’t employees, could cost company millions

ALTERNET | August 27, 2014
Thousands of California FedEx Drivers Exploited By Corporate Execs, Court Rules

CCJ DIGITAL | August 28, 2014
Court says FedEx Ground drivers are employees, not contractors, in classification case

CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES | August 27, 2014
Appellate court sides with FedEx drivers

DCVELOCITY | August 27, 2014
Appeals court panel strikes down FedEx Ground independent contractor model in California

FORBES | August 27, 2014
FedEx Misclassified Drivers As Independent Contractors, Rules Ninth Circuit

HUFFINGTON POST | August 27, 2014
Reagan Appointee ‘Unravels FedEx’s Business Model’ In Court Ruling

MARKETWATCH | August 27, 2014
Court finds that workforce of FedEx Ground drivers are employees, not independent contractors, says Leonard Carder

MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL | August 27, 2014
Contractors score legal victory against FedEx Ground

MSNBC | August 27, 2014
What court rulings against FedEx mean for workers

NASDAQ | August 27, 2014
FedEx to Appeal Decision in Case About Independent Contractors — 3rd Update

RAW STORY | August 27, 2014
Federal appeals court clears way for FedEx drivers to sue for unpaid wages and benefits

THE RECORDER | August 27, 2014
Ninth Circuit Slaps FedEx Over Contractor Policy

REUTERS | August 27, 2014
FedEx Ground drivers are employees, not contractors-U.S. appeals court

REUTERS | August 27, 2014
U.S. Court Clears FedEx Ground Drivers To Pursue Wage, Benefit Claims

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE | August 27, 2014
Court rules FedEx drivers in state are employees, not contractors

THE TRUCKER | August 27, 2014
Court rules FedEx Ground drivers employees, not independent contractors, reverses earlier finding

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