According to Forbes, FedEx has agreed to settle a labor misclassification lawsuit with California drivers for $228 million.
The news outlet reported that the settlement would resolve claims made by more than 2,000 FedEx Ground and Home Delivery drivers who said the employer misclassified them as independent contractors, which resulted in them missing items like tax withholding, health insurance, overtime pay and unemployment insurance.
The settlement came after a 2014 Ninth Circuit Court ruling that said the company was misclassifying the drivers. As Forbes noted, “FedEx has been able to shift to its drivers the costs of FedEx branded trucks, FedEx branded uniforms, FedEx scanners, fuel, maintenance, insurance, and more.”
An attorney involved in the case noted that it is one of the largest employment law settlements in California history involving independent contracting.
Forbes also noted that the settlement could have an impact on other drivers across the country, who may challenge FedEx in court, as the money will only be awarded to California drivers.
Should I Speak to an Attorney About Employee Misclassification?
As we have noted in previous blogs, drivers are often misclassified as independent contractors. This allows companies to save money by denying workers overtime—it also allows them to skip out on providing costly benefits allowed to other employees.
If you believe that you are being misclassified as an independent contractor, you should speak to our Los Angeles labor attorneys. We can investigate your case to see if you have a possible claim and hold your employer liable if you are owed money. As this settlement shows, your employer may owe you a significant amount of back pay and/or damages.
One question you may want to ask if you believe that you are being misclassified is, “Could the employer operate without the work you are performing?” Additionally, you need to note whether you are providing your own equipment, materials and tools to perform tasks. Keep in mind, under California laws, if an employer controls what materials are used to perform a job or the hours a person works, than the worker should be considered an employee.
Keep following our blog for more information about labor law and employment misclassification.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys