FedEx Misclassification of its Drivers as “Contractors”

CNN has a great article on Federal Express’s intentional practice of misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors in order to save the company from paying overtime, worker’s compensation and unemployment benefits. Transferring a company’s inherent business risks onto its employees is an old practice but it may also be illegal under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  If a company controls your day and you are “economically dependent” on that company, you are likely an employee rather than an independent contractor. This is especially true if the work you do is directly related to the company’s business primary business. For instance, a plumber who comes in a few hours a week on her own schedule to fix the pipes at FedEx may be a legitimate contractor. A person who spends 60-70 hours each week delivering packages — FedEx’s core and primary service — is likely an employee. If you believe you have been misclassified, please give us a call. We will be happy to meet with you without charge to see if we can help you to recover the wages you should have earned plus the same amount as liquidated damages.

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Michael Caldwell : October 29, 2013 8:39 am
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record-keeping and youth employment standards for workers in the private sector and government.  Covered non-exempt workers are entitled to overtime pay of at least 1.5 times regular pay if they work more than 40 hours per week.

Auto Deducting Lunch and Other Breaks.

Many employers track employee work time through the use of computerized systems.  Some employers program their computers to deduct a one hour lunch period each day, whether or not the employee actually takes a lunch break of that duration or any lunch break at all.  If you are not actually relieved from duty during an auto-deducted lunch break, the auto- deducted time should be added back in in order to determine if you have cleared the forty hour weekly overtime threshold.  If the employee is never allowed to take a lunch break and the time is nevertheless auto-deducted, the employer may face substantial exposure for backpay, liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees.

Reality trumps under the FLSA. If you work through a break, you must be paid for it.

If you are an employer or an employee and have questions about the Fair Labor Standards Act, call the FLSA experts at DeLong, Caldwell, Bridgers, Fitzpatrick, & Benjamin, LLC, Charles Bridgers and Kevin Fitzpatrick, at (404) 979-3150 for a free consultation.  For more information, check out our publication,  Are You Entitled to Overtime Pay?

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