A Win In A FedEx Misclassification Case
On January 3, 2018, the Jordan Lewis, P.A. law firm, along with lawyer colleagues Cynthia Weisman of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Shanon Carson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Harold Lichten of Boston, Massachusetts, won an important victory in a misclassification case against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. In the decision, which is attached below, the New Mexico federal court concluded that a New Mexico statute – that could result in a tripling of overtime damages in a misclassification case. Defendant FedEx argued that the statute, which requires liquidated damages “in an additional amount equal to twice the unpaid or underpaid wages,” applied only to minimum wage violations, and not to overtime claims. The New Mexico federal court concluded that plaintiff’s interpretation was correct, and that the liquidated damages provision applied to both overtime and minimum wage cases.
The FedEx New Mexico case involves a challenge by FedEx drivers over their claimed status as “independent contractors.” The drivers argue that, due to the level of control exercised by FedEx, they were in fact employees, notwithstanding FedEx’s contractual designation of them as independent contractors. The significance of the decision is that, if the drivers are correctly classified as employees, they may be entitled to employee protections, such as the payment of overtime for time worked over 40 hours in a week.
The order is here: fedex nm – order granting and denying in part fedex motion to dismiss