FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

The recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision in the FedEx case concluded that drivers are employees, not contractors. Their agreement supports the decisions of many other jurisdictions to date.

The ruling was directly related to the FedEx drivers in the Connecticut terminal of a FedEx ground package Systems Inc. unit. The ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that the drivers are employees and not independent contractors was founded on a wide range of factors that all favored employee status.

A four-member panel ruled over one dissenting vote that FedEx Home Delivery was in violation of the National Labor Relations Act in its refusal to recognize a union and appropriately bargain when they sought to represent the drivers. A closer examination of the relationship between the drivers’ and FedEx made it clear to the board that the drivers fit the criteria of classification as employees.

Traditionally, courts and governing agencies have utilized the now familiar “multi-factor” common law test in order to differentiate between workers who should legally be designated as employees and those who should be designed at independent contractors. Over time a new trend has gradually emerged in which the focus has shifted to include and some might argue, focus on, one single factor: who has control over the individual’s work. It has become apparent that this focus does not always rely on the use of power over the individual’s work, but simply the existence of the possibility to exert power/control over the individual’s work even if it hasn’t been invoked.

If you are unsure of your appropriate classification on the job and fear that you may be being denied benefits through misclassification as an independent contractor, contact the experts in employment law at southern California’s Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik

Labor Board: Northwestern University Football Players Can Unionize

As of Wednesday, and according to the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago, football players are employees. For the players at Northwestern University this is good news because they can now unionize. The players petitioned in order to increase their bargaining power in the college sports arena. The ruling could change the landscape of the NCAA. In response to the petition, Northwestern University claimed that their players are not employers, they are students.

The board’s decision that the players should be classified as employees was based on several factors:

·       Athletes at the university get “paid” in scholarships
·       They work between 20 and 50 hours/week
·       They generate millions of dollars of revenue for the university

Players claimed the reason behind their petition was to receive better medical coverage (including concussion testing), four-year scholarships and the potential for outright payment for athletic services.

Northwestern plans to appeal. Richard Epstein, labor law professor at New York University, said the ruling has “vast implications for the structure of the sport, if upheld.” Individuals opposing the board’s decision claim that while the reform issues players are looking to address may be appropriate, unionizing may not be the best method of achieving change in this instance because of the negative effect it could have on the success of Northwestern athletics. An appeal would likely take years to resolve.

The NCAA responded to the issue by saying that, while it wasn’t directly involved in the proceedings, it didn’t agree with the decision of the board and disagreed with the idea that student athletes should be classified as employees.

For up to date information on the issue or to discuss other current affairs related to employment status, wage issues, etc. contact the experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik today