Drivers sue FedEx over classification as independent contractors
Saturday, August 21, 2010
- Organization: South Coast Today
An Acushnet man leads the list of 31 current and former FedEx route drivers who are suing the company in a class action for what they claim is illegal and harmful misclassification as independent contractors rather than regular employees. The suit, filed this week in U.S. First District Court in Boston, lists David Duval of Acushnet as the lead plaintiff.
By treating the drivers as independent contractors, the suit alleges, FedEx escaped a wide range of expenses and obligations such as state taxes, unemployment taxes, benefits, vacations and other obligations. FedEx, meanwhile, controlled every aspect of the work involved, even requiring drivers to purchase or lease, insure and maintain their own trucks, which can be used for no other purpose, the complaint said. The company, the suit says, sometimes arbitrarily changes the requirements with no input from the drivers.
FedEx faces many such lawsuits around the country, and hundreds of drivers are suing FedEx in Southern New England alone, said Duval's attorney, Harold L. Lichen of Boston. Duval could not be reached for comment. On July 15, Attorney General Martha Coakley accepted a $3 million settlement from FedEx to cover taxes that would have been due had the drivers been classified as employees. Coakley ruled that FedEx's practices violate state law regarding contractors. (click on link to read full story)