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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit denies FedEx review

On Jan. 22nd the 7th Circuit, according to this item from RTT News:

declined to hear the request of FedEx Ground, an operating unit of FedEx Corp. (FDX), for interlocutory review of the class certification decision in the Kansas case pending before the United States District Court in Indiana. The decision had granted class certification on the Kansas state claims and a national ERISA claim.

The court did not rule on the validity of the contractor model. It also has not decided class certification in any other multi-district litigation case.

For more see "Lawyers for FedEx Drivers Laud Federal Appeals Court Ruling Denying Company's Appeal of Driver Class Certification" (here) from CNNMoney:
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lawyers for FedEx Ground/Home Delivery drivers who have been misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees today are hailing the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upholding the granting of class certification by the U.S. District Court in Indiana.

The three-judge panel yesterday rejected FedEx's request to review the nationwide class certification of the drivers' claim for employee benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other state claims, said Lynn Rossman, lead counsel for the drivers in their nationwide class action.

"This is the latest in a string of major legal setbacks for FedEx," commented Faris. "We now look forward to the District Court issuing the class certification decisions in the remaining lawsuits. The 7th Circuit decision also means the cases can move forward without the delay an appeal would have created. We are one step closer to justice for the tens of thousands of misclassified FedEx drivers."

She noted that the Internal Revenue Service recently ordered FedEx to pay back taxes and penalties of $319 million for a single year, after finding that FedEx misclassified drivers as contractors instead of employers. The total financial liability FedEx faces in the IRS case has been estimated by stock analysts at between $1 billion and $2.5 billion. That does not include what FedEx owes its drivers for expenses, improper deductions from wages and overtime.

And from this article by Colleen Paulson in Motley Fool, a story today that begins:
Is self-employment really the American dream? And what does it mean to be self-employed, anyway? FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and its independent contractor ground drivers are facing those questions right now.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 24, 2008 01:52 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions