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.