Judge Miller

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by starglacier, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. starglacier

    starglacier Member

    Judge Miller finally awakes from his stupor and makes a ruling In Illinois V Fedex ground!!!
    FIRST SUMMARY JUDGMENT RULING FROM THE FEDERAL MDL COURT HOLDS THAT ILLINOIS FEDEX DRIVERS ARE EMPLOYEES, NOT INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

    June, 2010. FedEx Ground and Home Delivery drivers have been found to be employees under the Illinois Wage Act. The decision was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Miller in the multi-district litigation that Judge Miller has been presiding over for the past five years. (In re: FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. Employment Practices Litigation, Cause No. 3:05-MD-527 RM) This holding came in a May 28, 2010 Opinion and Order granting summary judgment to the Illinois drivers under the Wage Act. The Court did not rule on other claims made by the Illinois drivers, but indicated it will address those claims separately.
    The decision is important in that it is one of a growing number of decisions in the past few years holding that the FedEx Ground drivers are employees and not, as FedEx claims, independent contractors. The essence of the cases consolidated before Judge Miller is that FedEx Ground has intentionally and consistently misclassified drivers as independent contractors, when they are in reality employees.
    Judge Miller specifically found that the Illinois drivers were employees under the Wage Act because their work was an essential and a necessary part of FedEx's business. As former CEO Dan Sullivan testified, the drivers are the "centerpiece" of FedEx's "workforce" and they are an "essential component" of the company's business. The Court noted the fact that drivers must wear FedEx uniforms and maintain a personal appearance satisfactory to FedEx. Contractors supply their own vehicles, but they must bear FedEx's logos and advertising. Further, FedEx structures the routes so that the trucks are in use 9 to 11 hours a day. Contractors can hire replacement drivers, but only with FedEx's approval. Finally, the Court noted that FedEx managers were obligated to have business discussions and customer service rides each year in order to maintain FedEx's image and reputation.
    Drivers' motions for Summary Judgment in 40 other states are pending. Currently, there are 63 __ lawsuits consolidated in the multi-district litigation. Motions for Summary Judgment have been filed, briefed and are awaiting decisions in almost all of these cases.
     
  2. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    Good news for the Ground guys/ladies. Kudos to you....
     
  3. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I think this is great news. Now, please disagree with me because that's what you do. Hey bbsam, do you think this might mess up the Master Plan?
     
  4. LTFedExer

    LTFedExer New Member

    I disagree with you when I think you're wrong. I never did agree that Ground was called 'independent contractors', yet, for the most part, had to do things the 'FedEx way'. When you own your own business, you should be allowed to run it the way you see fit. Not have someone else tell you how to run it.

    P.S. I did post I agree with the ruling first, so there's no turning back for me now :)
     
  5. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    Thats Great news, now the apeals process will begin and in about 10 years it might actually be ruled on!!
     
  6. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

     
  7. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    No, not at all. I think it probably moves us closer and closer to the ISP model and a far more lucrative system for those who take it on. Just imagine. With the ISP model the company is able to cut the number of contrators by about 3/4, yes by 75% and pay them very, very well. What does that mean? The company will naturally look to those who are already running multiple vehicle operations and eventually they will become ISPs. Who do you think is bringing the lawsuits? Hint: Probably not alot of multi-route owners. So in fact the company will use the multi-route owners to essentially buy out the single route owners and basically wipe out future substancial litigation concerns having to do with contractor/employee questions. This way the company gets to keep the contractor model and get rid of disgruntled contractors.
     
  8. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!


    They are already trying to do that, here they are simply not renewing the contracts of any singl route contractors, forcing them out the door after some have broke their backs for Fed-Ex for 10+ years. Just another way to screw the people that built the company for them. I hope it all comes out in the courts the way they really treat their "EMPLOYEES"!!
     
  9. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    But you know what? It's groups like Fedex Watch that help screw these people. I'm quite certain that when these proceedings began Lynn Farris in her short-sightedness never saw the possibility that this would happen. In their world, contractors were employees and the company would be made to acknowledge that fact. Turns out that Fedex has simply basically admitted to screwing up, and said, "Well then we will change our business practices so that we really do use contractors." So the court says that SWA (single work area) contractors are misclassified and should be employees. Guess who get's hurt? Not the lawyers who have been handling this as a class action lawsuit. I'm sure there are alot of SWA's that had no problem with being contractors but because of groups like Fedex Watch either found themselves unemployed or working for less than what they had been making when their routes were basically absorbed. Unintended consequences but this outcome should have been seen as a possibility by the lawyers. Unless it was, but for financial gain they simply didn't pass that information on to their clients.
     
  10. tracker2762

    tracker2762 Active Member

    bbsam You've posted that you own six routes and these are all delivering Fedex. If for some reason there is not enough work to use them all, as an independent contractor ( meaning not under the control of others) couldn't you as a businessman hire your truck out to someone else who might need your services. There by keeping money coming in and your employee working. This would be the true definition of an independent contractor wouldn't it? Also is the maximum of routes that your allowed to own?
     
  11. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I believe I could hire a truck out, but I'm not sure about to anothelr package delivery company. At one time I considered contracting on with American (the appliance and furniture company) but decided not to. As for not enough work, well haven't seen that problem in quite some time.
     
  12. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

    I believe the point is, even as a multiple route contractor, you still are locked in to Fed-Ex. If thats not the case I would love to see the proof.
     
  13. Brown287

    Brown287 Im not the Mail Man!

    Well Bbsam just another nail in the coffin for the Ground scam. Don't worry your time is coming and I'm sure your more then aware of it. FedEx still is under the impression that they are untouchable but it will get to a point where ths constant litigation is too much to bare, and then with their soft words and warm incouragement You guys will be shown the door. I ask you whats next, a larger multi contractor presence being needed. Lets say that down the road theres a contractor that is larger then you and kisses the behind better then you and so the all mighty FedEx decides not to renew your contract so that their buddy from down the road takes over your area. Maybe this is whats needed after the next law suit. You see the problem is Sam that currently you have NO say in what happens. Do You?
     
  14. tracker2762

    tracker2762 Active Member


    And without fedex, bbsam is a man who owns six trucks with nothing to put in them. So in fact he is a dependent contractor not an independent contractor. I don't see what difference it makes whether a contractor owns one or ten routes, they still deliver for fedex and fedex alone.
     
  15. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know what the difference is either. That's a ruling the courts have made in the past. And it is absolutely possible that I could be left with 9 trucks and nothing to do with them. Is that supposed to scare me? It's also possible that Fedex continues to expand the ISP usage and possible that more Express freight gets moved through Ground. Anythings possible. Going by past happenings, though, it doesn't really look like the contractor model is going anywhere anytime soon.

    287 are you really that blind? Everytime Ground "loses" in court what happens? Those nails in the coffin--where are they? What contractor anywhere in the country has ever become a company driver? Let me help you. It hasn't happened. So maybe before you start making your silly little predictions you could read up on just what steps Ground has taken when faced with these court decisions.
     
  16. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Denial.
     
  17. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Prove me wrong.
     
  18. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    And what exactly are the qualifications put forth by the IRS to determine what is an independent contractor and what is an employee?
     
  19. tracker2762

    tracker2762 Active Member

    The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if you, the person for whom the services are performed, have the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result.

    Doesn't fedex control how drivers perform their job and the appearance of your fleet.Example: Vera Elm, an electrician, submitted a job estimate to a housing complex for electrical work at $16 per hour for 400 hours. She is to receive $1,280 every 2 weeks for the next 10 weeks. This is not considered payment by the hour. Even if she works more or less than 400 hours to complete the work, Vera Elm will receive $6,400. She also performs additional electrical installations under contracts with other companies that she obtained through advertisements. Vera is an independent contractor.

    The last sentence is what I meant, You cannot perform additional work for other companies. The above came from irs.gov.




     
  20. iowa boy

    iowa boy Well-Known Member

    The IRS ultimately makes the decision as to what an independent contractor vs. an employee is. I have yet to read, (not saying its not out there,) anything about the contractors themselves asking the IRS about this. From what I have read, its always been the state governments that have pushed that issue.