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.