FedEx US 'intentionally misclassified' drivers as independent contractors
3.01.08 by Buffalo Bill
Sounding an ominous and very loud echo of the ongoing citysprint case here in Blighty, the Inland Revenue Service of the US has ‘tentatively decided’ that FedEx owes back-taxes to the tune of $319 million, due on drivers that were misclassified as ‘independent contractors’, instead of employees.
FedEx Watch, a web-site run by the Teamsters Union, hails the decision thus:
The cause of the FedEx Ground and Home Delivery drivers is undeniably just: the offer of independence was made under false pretenses and FedEx misled the drivers into a relationship where they were illegally controlled like employees. Many many drivers fell victim to a bait and switch. The core issue is that drivers want to be truly independent or they want the rights and protections that all employees are entitled to and and have earned. Since FedEx has proved repeatedly they will not grant drivers more than token independence, then the just fight is for drivers to take back their rights.
A few weeks ago, Moving Target asked if it could happen here, and would it be a good thing?, referring to the moves in the US to reclassify ‘independent contractors’ as employees. Thanks to citysprint, and the GMB Union, it seems that we could be about to find out. citysprint are obviously taking the case very seriously, as they have employed the infamous libel lawyers, Carter-Ruck, to fire off a letter to the GMB. I am sure that all my readers will be as interested in the outcome of the citysprint case as I am. If the GMB win, it will fundamentally change the nature of the relationship between citysprint and its riders. And, given that citysprint do things pretty much the same as every other company in the courier business, the relationship between all courier companies and their riders.