On Dec. 14, U.S. District Judge Robert Miller of Indiana dismissed 20 of 28 class-action cases from around the country against FedEx. Miller wrote that the company did not exert the kind of control over their employment that would make them FedEx employees. Some of the key factors favoring independent contractor status, he said, included the drivers' ability to hire employees as helpers and replacements, the ability to sell routes, and the ability to use their trucks for other commercial purposes. In addition, the court noted that FedEx did not have the right to terminate contracts at will.
This bolsters the FedEx Ground business model. The company, which started as RPS years ago, was built on the use of these independent contractors.
You can read the 182-page decision at the Journal of Commerce website.
Meet Some FedEx Entrepreneurs
FedEx features videos with interviews with some of its top FedEx Ground contractors on its website.
New York-based FedEx contractor Pavel Levter moved his way through the FedEx Ground organization before becoming a contractor who owns multiple routes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As a business owner, Levter knows that success is dependent not only on good management but also on dedicated, trustworthy employees.
FedEx Ground contractor Trent Webb, one of three contractors named Ground Entrepreneur of the Year last year, has grown his two businesses from start-up companies to a million-dollar enterprise. He's based in Memphis where the FedEx hub is located. He actually has two businesses. Trend Webb Inc. has five linehaul trucks and four dedicated runs, and also TWI Associates, a safety consulting business.
And Nick Ciardiello says being an entrepreneur is a "rush" and all about grabbing one risk after another. The New Jersey-based FedEx Ground independent contractor was one of three contractors named Entrepreneur of the Year last year.
Gee, none of them look like employees to me.