Settlement approval

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by dmac1, Oct 18, 2016 at 7:03 PM.

  1. dmac1

    dmac1 Active Member

    The Oregon settlement approval hearing was today. I don't know if the judge signed off yet, but there were no objections filed by the deadline, and 91% of the eligible drivers filed a claim. The other 9% will have their claims divided among the 91% who did file on time. I should have a nice Christmas this year.
  2. hallerin

    hallerin Member

  3. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    Any new information as to the average settlement amount per claimant? I sent a letter 2 weeks ago to the plaintiff co-counsel asking for clarification on several key issues regarding multi state proposed settlement. Nothing back yet and I doubt that there will be. The propose payout in the Willis vs. Fedex case has been restated downward to $ 41 per qualified week. In light of this slap in the face I don't see any other choice but to file an objection. Clearly the counsel for the plaintiffs are more interested in assurance's of being paid rather than to obtain justice for their clients. Probably specing out their yachts is more important . Justice? Any old half as*ed is good enough.
  4. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Pretty standard in class action lawsuits.
  5. dmac1

    dmac1 Active Member

    Found a link to the Willis settlement- 5 - Settlement Agrmt.pdf

    It is very unspecific as to the amount compared to the Oregon settlement. Apparently, the lawyers are left to figure it out instead of a pre-agreed amount. One good thing is that even if you don't qualify as a class member maybe because you didn't personally drive, you may still get a piece of the pie. I have no idea how many people are covered by this settlement.

    I don't know how anyone can NOT object to a settlement offer that doesn't tell you how much the settlement is. $40 a week sure wouldn't be enough to cover even the 1/2 of the employment taxes that fedex should have been paying, which should be the minimum. On even a $60k total annual settlement from fedex, they would have needed to pay close to $100 in Social Security/FICA tax.

    Plus the settlement only covers from 2001-2007, so much less time is covered. In this case, it looks like fedex got this settlement before it went to the 7th circuit court for a decision. In Oregon, the 9th circuit court decided that drivers/contractors were employees, and that decision encouraged fedex to start negotiations for a settlement in this case.

    One good thing is that the payout will come in two parts, maybe if your lucky, part this year, and part next. Seemingly, wording is that it is for reimbursement for expenses, and not employment income, so you shouldn't have to pay social security taxes on it, just regular income taxes.

    The preliminary agreement was signed 6-12-2016, so I don't think there's much time to object, if any time at all.
  6. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for your help and insight. I will never understand why counsel for the plaintiffs in the Willis vs. Fedex case didn't try to certify a claim under state workers compensation law. It would appear that counsel was willing to drop key components in order to expedite a settlement including agreeing to an X demand that their clients forfeit all claims through April 30, 2016 when the payment involves the years 2001 through 2007. I believe that very few contractors are agreeable to the bad settlement is better than no settlement mindset. Since it has come this far I believe that the majority of contractors would rather have gone in front of the 7th and lost than to see X get away with this laughable settlement. Once again thank you for all of your help and any new information that comes to my attention I will keep you informed of it.
  7. dmac1

    dmac1 Active Member

    I think the statute of limitations has run out for any state WC claims. I don't know the laws of all the states covered by this settlement, but fedex didn't change much in 2007, except the requirement of paying WC. If it had gone to court before the 7th, it seems like the claim for re-imbursement of Social Security taxes would be the minimum you should get. Being called 'independent contractors' allowed fedex to escape the 7.53% tax and put it on you. I think all the other expenses may be allowable to make employees pay under a lot of state laws. It isn't in California and Oregon, with California having better protection than Oregon. But I can't imagine that all 20 states covered in Willis are that protective of corporations to the detriment of workers.

    6 years from 2001 to 2007 is about 300 weeks, and at $40 a week, it is only $12,000. Being misclassified and paying higher taxes for 6 years seems worth more than that. Fedex, even with an adverse court ruling, is still coming out ahead of where they would have if they had acted lawfully in the first place, so they have benefitted by breaking the law. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth, even 10 years later.
  8. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    Same here friend. It should have been an all or nothing go for broke move to go to the 7th. Even a loss would have opened up the 2008 through to the present window for another go at it. Thank you for your continued interest in the matter. I will continue to update you as developments unfold.