Judge Rules FedEx Drivers Are Not Contractors

By Staff Report

Jun. 16, 2010

A U.S. district judge issued a summary judgment ruling that FedEx Ground and home delivery drivers in Illinois are employees and not independent contractors under the Illinois Wage Act.

The May 28 ruling was the first in the complex FedEx Ground litigation over the classification of drivers as independent contractors, according to law firm Leonard Carder.

“It’s a very important step, but it’s not the end of the road,” said Lynn Rossman Faris, a lead plaintiffs attorney in the case and partner in Leonard Carder.

Other aspects of the Illinois drivers’ case remain for the court to decide. This Illinois case was also not certified as a class action, although that is subject to appeal.

Similar plaintiffs’ motions for summary judgment are pending for drivers in 39 other states, and seven other states have laws similar to Illinois’. The FedEx Ground Package System Inc. litigation includes 63 cases.

The judge ruled that the Illinois drivers were employees because “their delivery work was an essential part of FedEx’s business,” according to Leonard Carder.

The court noted that drivers must wear FedEx uniforms and drive trucks with FedEx logos, that FedEx structures drivers’ routes so that the trucks are in use nine to 11 hours a day, that FedEx must approve replacement drivers and that drivers were required to allow FedEx managers to go on customer service rides annually, according to Leonard Carder.  

Filed by Staffing Industry Analysts, a sister company of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail


Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.


What’s New at

blog workforce

Come see what we’re building in the world of predictive employee scheduling, superior labor insights and next-gen employee apps. We’re on a mission to automate workforce management for hourly employees and bring productivity, optimization and engagement to the frontline.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog


Minimum Wage by State in 2023 – All You Need to Know

Summary Twenty-three states and D.C. raised their minimum wage rates in 2023, effective January 1.  Thr...

federal law, minimum wage, pay rates, state law, wage law compliance

workforce blog


New Labor Laws Taking Effect in 2023

The new year is fast approaching, and with its arrival comes a host of new labor laws that will impact ...

labor laws, minimum wage, wage and hour law

workforce blog


Wage and Hour Laws in 2022: What Employers Need to Know

Whether a mom-and-pop shop with a handful of employees or a large corporation staffing thousands, compl...

compliance, wage and hour law