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Commercial Vehicle Regulations Expert:
Federal Express Drivers Deemed Employees, not Contractors!

Truck Safety Expert Witness / Semi Truck Accident Expert Witness Articles

By Scott Greene

In early July a federal appeals court ruled in favor of more than 500 FedEx Ground driver plaintiffs in a five-year-old class action suit in which the drivers claimed they were wrongly classified as independent contractors. The class argued they should have been classified as employees of the company.

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The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, upholding a ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court. The Kansas Supreme Court heard the case in late 2014 and found, per Kansas state law, the drivers should have been classified as employees.

The Ground division of Federal Express disagrees with the court’s ruling and is exploring options for its next move in the case. In a statement released by FedEx, the company says the Seventh Circuit decision applies only to drivers who worked in Kansas from 1998 to 2007. The company has also indicated that it no longer uses the same independent contractor model in question.

FedEx Ground announced in June 2015, it had reached a $228 million agreement with truck operators who brought a similar class action suit in California. The California settlement, however, applied only to the drivers of the California class.

Several other similar cases involving other motor carriers have also been decided in favor of driver plaintiffs bringing the claims. Many of these cases have been tried in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers nine West Coast area states.

FedEx has not said whether it plans to appeal the Seventh Circuit ruling.

 

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