Aftermarket

FedEx Drivers File Suit in Massachusetts Over Contractor Status

August 19, 2010

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FedEx Ground now faces a lawsuit filed by 31 current and former drivers in U.S. District Court in Boston
Your scribe -- between writing assignments last summer -- out earning his keep on the big road with 55,000 pounds of frozen waffles.
Your scribe -- between writing assignments last summer -- out earning his keep on the big road with 55,000 pounds of frozen waffles.
, according to reports by Reuters. The drivers hope to gain class-action status in the suit, alleging FedEx misclassified them as independent contractors, not employees.

This is the latest action taken against FedEx related to its classification of truck drivers as independents. Last month, FedEx Ground had to shell out over $3 million to the Massachusetts attorney general's office, which alleged that FedEx Ground's failure to properly classify drivers had led the company to make lesser payments to the state for payroll taxes, worker's compensation and unemployment assistance.

In the latest suit, the drivers, led by plaintiff David Duval of Acushnet, Mass., argue that FedEx had driver controls in place that an employer would use. This includes rules on driver uniforms and equipment, Reuters said.

"This attorney has filed complaints with virtually identical allegations multiple times," Fedex spokesman Maury Lane told Reuters. "Only the names have been changed."

In May, FedEx sent a letter to about 12,000 independent contractors notifying them of new business standards they must comply with or risk losing their contract, according to published reports.

Dow Jones, which obtained the letter to contractors, said the company issued the standards "in response to recent concerns by several states," according to the letter.



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