FedEx agrees to settle California misclassification class action for $228 million

Posted on: July 16th, 2015 by Steve Larson

FreightFedEx Ground Package Systems will pay $228 million to resolve a class action brought by FedEx Ground and Home Delivery drivers in California who say the company misclassified them as independent contractors instead of employees, shorting their wages and benefits.  The tentative settlement, which requires the approval of a California federal judge, will resolve claims brought against FedEx Ground Package System Inc. by 2,300 California truck drivers who worked for the company from 2000 to 2007 and claimed that they should have been considered employees.

The settlement came after a ruling by the Ninth Circuit, which reversed a lower court’s summary judgment in favor of FedEx, and found the drivers were employees as a matter of law.

The case was part of a number of lawsuits, including one in Oregon we are pursuing.  The suits were filed in about 40 states across the U.S.  All the suits, which were eventually consolidated in multidistrict litigation and certified as class actions, included similar allegations that FedEx improperly classified its drivers as independent contractors, depriving them of benefits that employees would normally receive and forcing them to cover business expenses.

The case is Dean Alexander et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc., case number 3:05-cv-00038, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.