The Oneida Daily Dispatch reports that Fedex Ground Package System reached a settlement with the New York State Attorney General in a suit alleging drivers were misclassified as independent contractors. It reports:
The New York State Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement in a lawsuit FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. that will distribute $2 million to an estimated 500 qualifying drivers who delivered packages for FedEx Ground and its division, FedEx Home Delivery.The attorney general’s office filed the lawsuit in Oct. 2010 in the Supreme Court for New York County, alleging that these drivers had been unlawfully misclassified as independent contractors and were, in fact, employees. Attorney General Barbara Underwood sought restitution for violations of New York Labor Law, including unpaid overtime and unlawful deductions from wages.
“Companies cannot misclassify employees in order to dodge their legal obligations – period,” Underwood said. “We will continue to hold accountable employers who fail to pay workers the wages they’re owed under the law.”
The settlement fund will be distributed to two classes of affected FedEx drivers. One class covers unpaid overtime claims for current and former FedEx Ground and FedEx Home drivers who entered into an operating agreement with FedEx on or after Aug. 10, 2005, provided services to FedEx Ground up to Sept. 2016, and drove over 40 hours in a week. The second class covers unlawful deductions claims for current and former FedEx Ground and FedEx Home drivers who entered into an operating agreement with FedEx Ground between Oct. 15, 2007 and Sept. 11, 2009 and provided services to FedEx Ground up to Sept. 2016.
This settlement is part of the attorney general’s continuing efforts to hold accountable employers who evade labor law requirements by improperly classifying workers as independent contractors. Employers who do so deny legally required wages, benefits, and protections to their employees, such as reimbursement for employee’s out-of-pocket, work-related expenses, overtime pay for hours over 40 in a workweek, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.