A US district court in St Louis, Missouri, has referred a dispute over the employee status of FedEx drivers to a jury for deliberation.
In the case of Gray vs FedEx Ground Package System, the latter contracts with operators to make deliveries. Under their contracts, the operators were not required to personally drive, but could hire someone else to do so.
The plaintiffs brought a suit against FedEx claiming that they should be classed as employees rather than independent contractors, and should thus receive the benefits employees are entitled to.
A court orginally ruled in the operators’ favour and awarded damages. FedEx appealed the decision.
The appeals court found that a ’reasonable jury could disagree and conclude that plaintiffs were independent contractors’. The original decision was therefore reversed and has now been submitted to a jury for consideration.