MEMPHIS -- Federal Express delivery drivers filed a federal lawsuit against the company, arguing that they should be employees rather than independent contractors because of FedEx’s control of their work, the Associated Press reported. The case is not uncommon. FedEx has seen it happen to them before in California, Massachusetts, Minnesota and South Dakota, and DHL drivers earlier this year sued for similar reasons “DHL Drivers Sue Over Independent Contractor Status” (June 2, 2005). The complaint is that, as independent contractors, benefits such as overtime pay, health insurance and workman’s compensation are not available to them. The suit, representing more than 1,000 drivers, says that FedEx regulates how the trucks are used, maintained and painted, even though the drivers own the trucks themselves. It is also claimed that FedEx has final say over what gets delivered when, and where the packages go, even if it is off of a driver’s normal route. Drivers say they are unable to enjoy the freedom of operating independently, while missing out on employee protection granted under Tennessee state law, according to the AP report. In response, FedEx has said independent contracting helped its ground delivery grow, in addition to kick-starting small businesses for many of the private workers.
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