On September 16, 2011, federal judge D. Brock Hornby granted a motion for conditional certification of a collective action against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (Fed Ex) for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A group of Fed Ex drivers brought this case against Fed Ex because they claim that Fed Ex misclassified them as “independent contractors” instead of employees and, consequently, failed to pay them overtime. In granting the motion for conditional certification, Judge Hornby found that the drivers who brought the case held similar jobs and suffered from the same allegedly unlawful policy. Conditional certification is a procedural hurdle that the drivers had to overcome before they could begin to send notices to other drivers who may be eligible to join the lawsuit against Fed Ex.
Many employers misclassify employees as independent contractors and, as a result, fail to respect these misclassified employees’ rights to overtime pay and other workplace protections. If your employer classifies you as an independent contractor but you believe that your employment relationship is more like that of an employee, you should call an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights.