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FedEx Class Action Certified

Published by on November 13, 2007

On October 15, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana certified a class of pickup and delivery drivers as to claims that the plaintiffs were misclassified as “independent contractors” under the Kansas Wage Payment Act and to common law claims for rescission, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit.  The class includes 102 […]

On October 15, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana certified a class of pickup and delivery drivers as to claims that the plaintiffs were misclassified as “independent contractors” under the Kansas Wage Payment Act and to common law claims for rescission, unjust enrichment and quantum meruit.  The class includes 102 current drivers and an unknown number of former drivers.  The plaintiffs seek rescission of their independent contractor agreements, repayment of costs and expenses, and payment of unpaid overtime.

The court also certified a national class with respect to the plaintiffs’ claims for a determination of participant status and entitlement to benefits under ERISA.  According to the Court, FedEx Ground employs approximately 12,000 pickup and delivery drivers.

Here is the court’s opinion:  In re FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. Employment Practices Litigation, No. 3:05-cv-00390-RLM-CAN (N.D.Ind. Oct. 15, 2007).

The case also contains a lengthy Daubert analysis with respect to FedEx’s motions.  The Daubert challenge was overruled, but the court decided to disregard the experts’ testimony.

 This case highlights the serious consequences for misclassifying workers as “independent contractors.”  FedEx also recently lost an appeal before the California Court of Appeals (Estrada v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., B189031 (Cal. Ct. App. June 13 2007) involving the issue of whether their single work zone drivers were employees or independent contractors under California law with respect to their right to entitlement to reimbursement for work-related expenses.  FedEx’s decision not to renew the contracts of all of the single work zone drivers in California after that decision has sparked additional litigation.

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