FedEx agreed to pay $240M to settle wage claim suits from delivery drivers in 20 different states. Drivers claim that the company misclassified them as independent contractors.
Misclassification as independent contractors meant that drivers were shorted on wages. The $240M settlement follows closely on the heels of the $226.5M deal by California drivers last year. Plaintiffs in the recent wage claim suit includes drivers from: New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Plaintiffs filed individual memoranda supporting their motions for settlement. There were approximately 12,000 class members noted as involved in the settlements.
Drivers involved in the wage claim suit claimed that FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. was in violation of a number of state laws. Drivers allege that FedEx deducted company business expenses from their pay, that FedEx misclassified workers (as an act of unjust enrichment) and generally violated consumer fraud laws.
The settlement was reached on the same day a California federal judge awarded $37.2M in attorneys’ fees for FedEx drivers in the California suit. In the California suit, drivers lodged similar allegations of misclassification. The California suit was based specifically on California state employment law providing protection to workers.
Both suits are part of a number of lawsuits FedEx drivers have been filing throughout the states (40 states having experienced similar suits so far). The lawsuits were eventually consolidated in multidistrict litigation and certified class actions. All included alleged misclassifications on the part of FedEx and that the action left workers without important benefits to which they would be entitled had they been categorized accurately as employees.
If the settlements are approved by the court, the litigation that started 12 years ago could be reaching a conclusion that has been awaited by many.
If you have questions regarding misclassification or wage and hour claims, please get in touch with an experienced southern California employment law attorney at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today.