Settlement approval

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by dmac1, Oct 18, 2016.

  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 Active 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- http://www.willis-v-fedexground-settlement.com/Portals/0/Documents/Tab 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.
     
  9. dvalleyjim

    dvalleyjim Member

    I'm in the CA class action. It got signed off by the judge and funds were to be distributed Aug 19th, 2016. Two class action members (contractors) appealed the amount of their settlement claiming that our drivers need to get some money. Now its going to the CA supreme court. We'll never see that money. These two guys that appealed are obviously working for a lawyer that is representing the drivers.

    I don't think you get paid from a class action lawsuit. Only lawyers.
     
  10. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    Thank you guys for the insight and information. I read about the two multi route contractors who want their drivers to get an equal share based on what I understand to be a case where those drivers were paid by these two contractors on 1099's claiming that they too were "independent contractors when they were employees all along . Their action is to try to avoid being on the hook for thousands in the way of unpaid employer taxes that were not collected and submitted..As for the 20 state MDL , the attorneys for the plaintiffs Leonard Calder want the maximum allowable fees and that's 30 % of the settlement. Can you believe it? After rolling over they want nearly a third of a paltry settlement. No question that if the attorneys were truly committed to getting justice for their clients they would have gone for an all or nothing appeal up to the 7th. Instead they just wanted to get the max for themselves. I have until 11-14 to file an objection. Might as well. Won't do any good but when I hear all bi*ching from the other present and former contractors at my terminal I can at least say, " I tried to do something about it . What did you do"?
     
  11. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    It always amazes me that people get optimistic about class action lawsuits. The payoff is rarely worth it unless you're the lawyer representing the class. Depending on the damages, it's often better to opt out of the class and file your own suit.
     
  12. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    Oh now, you don't need to worry your pretty little head.Now your beloved company might have to pay out a little bit of money. Perhaps some day it will come to understand that it's not nice to cheat Uncle Sam. Do you what happens when you try to cheat Uncle Sam?...............Bad things man. But don't worry. You, Snuggy Bear and Oldfart will be nice and comfy in Happy Land with visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads. And Uncle Fred will be in shortly to read you a bed time story.
     
  13. dmac1

    dmac1 Active Member

    Nobody objected in the Oregon settlement, and the judge signed off. So that money will be distributed starting in 30 days from Oct 20th.


    I was within a few thousand dollars of objecting to the settlement. The amount I'm getting is enough to make a big difference in my life, and give me about $300 in extra spending money every month for the rest of my life. It allows me to make some moves that may even mean up to $600 a month if I want to do a little work.

    But $40 for every week I worked would have been nothing. If you decide to object, personally I think that the social security taxes fedex avoided, and the business support package costs should be the minimum you get back. That is just about what the Oregon amount covers. If you paid worker's comp before 2007, that should be included as well. California drivers were awarded more than Oregon because California laws don't allow employers to make employees some of the costs.

    If your case followed a course similar to Oregon, it should have gone to the Circuit Court of Appeals, and then sent to each separate state to determine what you were owed based on your state's laws. I honestly think your attorneys should have gotten you more than the $40 you mentioned just in federal taxes, considering a federal court said we were employees.

    If you do object, follow the instructions very carefully. A one page typed complaint is maybe enough. And maybe you can find out if the people who objected in Ca had attorneys who could help, or send you a copy of their objection. You could even contact the court and pay a few bucks for a copy of the objection.
     
  14. dmac1

    dmac1 Active Member

    Two of my former drivers filed for unemployment benefits after I was already gone because the state looks back 15 months at their earnings. The state looked at all the records, and had already decided that I was an employee and eligible for benefits the year before. Based on the contract and on state law, ALL my former drivers were found to be fedex employees. Fedex didn't even fight it, but it was one of the big reasons fedex started requiring that contractors pay UI and WC on all the drivers a contractor hires.

    Seems to me that if those multi route contractors wanted the drivers they hired to be included, the time to do that would have been when the definition of who was going to be in the class was being decided. Simply put, those drivers just are not part of the class action, and they would need to file their own class action. The contractors wouldn't be on the hook for any claims for back taxes from that long ago. Even the IRS normally only goes back 3 years unless fraud or failure to file is involved. As long as the contractor submitted the 1099 to the IRS, and the drivers didn't object within a certain time(2 years?) I think the contractors will be out of luck unless the attorneys in the case want more people covered.

    And 30% of the settlement divided up among the lead attorneys and the 20 different law firms handling each of the 20 states isn't all that much money. If it was a huge settlement, 30% would be a lot more.

    Seeing as how the settlement only covers through 2007, or 6 years, you are putting a hold on only about $12,000 maximum by objecting if you started in 2001. If you don't need that money now, and think that maybe getting triple that amount is worth the wait, I think you should object. Worst case is that your objection is ruled against, and you just delay the payment for you and everyone else. Might not make any friends right now, but if you win, even the attorneys will be thanking you.
     
  15. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    WTF are you rambling about and why did you choose me to post it?
     
  16. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Do I have say it again?

    You just don't get it, do you?
     
  17. bacha29

    bacha29 Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much. This been an enormous help. My objection if I file it might be added to the record but doubt that it will influence the judges decision but it's worth the piece of mind knowing that I tried. So when the other's start waaaing at me about the paltry settlement I'll say, " Hey; I filed an objection. What did you do"? Once again thank you .
     
  18. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Well-Known Member

    You think his response is somehow relevant to the post that prompted it. You're dumber than I thought, and that's saying something.
     
  19. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    No need to get super defensive over things that you clearly don't understand.

    Dork.
     
  20. dvalleyjim

    dvalleyjim Member

    I'm supposed to get $175,000.00. that ain't chump change. But I don't have it do I?