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Ninth Circuit Rules that FedEx Drivers are Employees not Independent Contractors

October 7, 2014

On August 27, 2014, the Ninth Circuit in Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16585 (9th Cir. 2014), held that FedEx drivers, who must wear FedEx uniforns, drive FedEx-approved vehicles, deliver the packages FedEx tells them to deliver on the days and times FedEx instructs, and adhere to FedEx's appearance standards, are FedEx employees, not independent contractors.  The court reached this ruling despite the fact that the drivers could hire third parties to help them with their routes and could operate multiple routes.  Granting summary judgment for the drivers/plaintiffs, the court stated: "[w]e hold that plaintiffs are employees as a matter of law under California's right-to-control test."