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Gilreath & Associates Attorneys Celebrate Positive Ruling in Nationwide FedEx Drivers Employment Case

Tennessee attorney Chris Gilreath is among several lawyers from across the country representing FedEx drivers seeking to be classified as employees rather than independent contractors

Memphis, Tenn. – October 29, 2014 – FedEx drivers in Tennessee and across the United States are celebrating after recent court rulings affirmed their status as "employees" as opposed to "independent contractors." The cases, which ultimately trace their beginnings to 2001, involve drivers for FedEx Ground and Home Delivery. Several different courts across the United States are hearing cases involving this landmark dispute. Drivers from Tennessee are being represented by Memphis employment attorney Chris Gilreath of Gilreath & Associates. The specific case for Tennessee FedEx drivers has been consolidated with similar plaintiffs from 40 other states.

At issue is whether certain full-time drivers for FedEx meet the threshold for being classified as employees rather than independent contractors. Since 2000, FedEx has classified these certain drivers as "independent contractors," which relieved the company from offering benefits, paying payroll tax and other employment costs. The company requires the drivers to lease certain types of equipment necessary for delivering packages, and even dictates routes, scope, hours and other rules. Drivers maintain that FedEx did not allow any flexibility that would be expected in an independent contractor arrangement. Since the company would dictate hours, routes and even uniforms and vehicles, the drivers feel they should be classified as employees and become eligible for a host of company benefits offered to regular FedEx drivers.

Recently issued decisions affirm the arrangement between FedEx and these drivers meets the legal threshold for being classified as an employee. On August 28 of this year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. that drivers for the company met the legal test under California law. The case involving drivers from Tennessee is currently being heard by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Since Tennessee law is similar to Kansas law on this matter, the 7th Circuit asked the Kansas Supreme Court to interpret their state's law on this issue. Earlier this month, the Kansas court ruled that FedEx drivers are "employees" under Kansas law.

"We believe the Alexander decision represents a well-reasoned legal analysis of a common-sense idea: if you control someone's work, they are your employee, and should be paid as such," comments Memphis-based attorney R. Christopher Gilreath. "Although we're still awaiting the outcome for drivers from Tennessee, we're confident in a positive outcome in light of the recent Kansas decision."

The case involving Tennessee drivers is awaiting a decision from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. To learn more about this case, contact the firm's Memphis office by calling (901) 527-0511.

About Gilreath & Associates

Founder Sidney W. Gilreath, attorneys and support staff at Gilreath & Associates passionately help victims of car accidents, truck accidents, medical malpractice, defective medical products and birth injury obtain compensation and justice for injuries caused by negligence. The firm also represents clients in many high profile, nationwide class action employment and defective product lawsuits. With offices in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis, the firm is highly accessible to residents across the entire state of Tennessee. Gilreath & Associates welcomes inquiry on all cases falling within its practice areas. Submit your case details or visit the Tennessee employment attorneys online today.

Shea Jacome
Gilreath & Associates
(901) 527-0511

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