From the Digital Journal —
“United Parcel Service (UPS) and FedEx Ground are major competitors in the U.S. package delivery service. UPS’ iconic brown and FedEx Ground’s navy blue uniforms are familiar to millions of people. For the delivery drivers, differences between the companies go much further than the color of the uniform.
UPS considers its delivery drivers to be employees, according to an article by David Bensman, a professor of labor studies and employment relations at Rutgers University. As employees, UPS drivers are eligible for benefits and rights commonly given to workers in the U.S., including workers’ compensation.
FedEx Ground’s 27,000 workers are generally classified as independent workers, Bensman reports. Because of this, the company is not required to provide benefits to these employees or follow certain labor laws. The classification means that FedEx Ground delivery drivers may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured.
How can similar workers at similar companies be classified so differently? The answer has to do with the complex laws that govern worker classification in the U.S. and a rising trend of hiring contractors, or contingent workers, rather than employees. The trend is potentially damaging to the rights of injured workers.
What Is An Independent Contractor?
Read the full story at Worker Misclassification: How Job Titles Affect Workers’ Comp And Other Benefits