Legal News

Ninth Circuit Says FedEx Drivers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors
Download PDF

Small_Law_gavel4

Summary: Ninth Circuit remands back cases to lower courts after ruling FedEx drivers should be classified as employees and not as independent contractors.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a finding in a multidistrict litigation in Indiana and found that the close to 2,700 plaintiffs in two federal district court cases had been wrongly classified as independent contractors.

  
What
Where


According to the court, FedEx drivers fulfilled the requirements of the “right to control” test applicable to both California and Oregon, and are to be treated as employees for the purposes of classifying them.

The three-judge panel also commented that FedEx drivers were employees both under the “right-to-control,” and “economic-realities” tests and the fact that FedEx termed them as “independent contractors” in an operating agreement did not change their real status as employees of the company.

The Ninth Circuit also found that one of the classes lacked Article III standing to seek prospective relief and the other class’s claims for prospective relief became moot before the Multidistrict Litigation Court certified the class.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




The consolidated appeal to the Ninth Circuit by FedEx drivers, in essence, claimed that FedEx improperly classifies its drivers as independent contractors, thereby forcing them to incur business expenses and depriving them of benefits otherwise owed to employees.

Between 2003 and 2009, similar cases had been filed against FedEx in approximately forty states. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated those cases for multidistrict litigation proceedings in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The plaintiffs in all the MDL cases moved for partial summary judgment seeking to establish their status as a matter of law.



The MDL Court denied nearly all of such motions and granted almost all cross-motions made by FedEx. The plaintiffs appealed in time challenging the MDL Court’s denial of their partial motions and blanket grant of summary judgments to FedEx.

The Ninth Circuit has remanded the matters back to lower courts, after holding they erred in not treating FedEx drivers as employees.

 

Most Popular

Legal Career Resources

July 26, 2016 Making Partner Is No Party

Summary: Once an attorney makes partner, their job does not become a big party like some associates seem to think when starting out. Read 21 Reasons Why Being a Large Law Firm Partner Is More Difficult Than Being an Associate […]

read more

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top