FedEx Ground lost its appeal of a $5.3 million verdict in California that would make independent contractor drivers full-time employees. A California appeals court rejected the company's claim that a trial court judge erred in deciding in December 2005 that the FedEx Ground workers should be accorded full-time status. More than 200 drivers sued FedEx Ground, a unit of FedEx Corp., in Los Angeles state court, claiming it treats independent contractors like full-time employees while denying them full pay and benefits. Oakland, Calif. attorney Lynn Faris, who represents the drivers who sued FedEx, said the total court-awarded damages has increased to about $11 million. In denying the appeal from the December 2005 decision, the Appeals Court found that the California drivers are actually employees, and that "... the work performed by the drivers is wholly integrated into FedEx's operation. The drivers look like FedEx employees, act like FedEx employees, are paid like FedEx employees, and receive many employee benefits." Citing the trial court's decision, the appellate court noted, "The essence of the trial court's statement of decision is that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck." The Court also commented that, "FedEx's control over every exquisite detail of the drivers' performance, including the color of their socks and the style of their hair, supports the trial court's conclusion that the drivers are employees... "