Beginning as early as 2001, there have been a variety of discussions, debates and court cases involving whether or not FedEx Home Delivery Drivers are FedEx employees or independent contractors.
Multiple cases are being heard across the United States regarding this matter and Tennessee drivers are being represented by our very own Memphis employment attorney, Chris Gilreath. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August of this year in the Alexander v Fed Ex Ground Package System that drivers for the company met the legal test under California law to be considered employees. Also, recently Kansas court ruled that the drivers are “employees” according to Kansas Law. Tennessee has a similar law so the 7th Circuit asked the Kansas Supreme Court to interpret their state’s law on the issue.
“We believe the Alexander decision represents a well-reasoned legal analysis of a common-sense idea: if you control someone’s work, they are your employees, and should be paid as such” says Chris Gilreath. “Although we’re still awaiting the outcome for drivers from Tennessee, we’re confident in a positive outcome in light of the recent Kansas decision.”
The main issue at hand is whether or not the FedEx drivers currently meet the requirements to be considered employees of the company. FedEx has been treating the employees as independent contractors by not offering benefits, not paying payroll taxes or other employment costs.
However, FedEx dictates routes, hours and offers no flexibility while also requiring the drivers lease certain types of equipment for delivering packages. If the company is going to dictate all of this, the FedEx drivers felt they should be considered employees and be eligible for a host of benefits offered to regular drivers.
The case involving Tennessee drivers is awaiting a decision from the U.S 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. For more information, check out the press release on our website or stop by our Memphis office today.