Choosing the right position is a big decision in a person’s life. The way in which individuals are classified affects the benefits that they may receive, what expenses they have and the way in which they are paid. Many hard-working people in Texas are realizing that the jobs they are doing may not necessarily be that of independent contractors, as they may have previously thought. This is prompting many people to question whether a company is aware that it may have a misclassification of employees, and some are trying to have the issue corrected.
A former driver for the FedEx Ground division claimed that his working for the company ended up being a nightmare that led him to financial ruin. The man stated that he was classified as a contractor and not an employee. He purportedly was required to purchase his own vehicle and delivery route, and also hire on another driver to help him when his van was not large enough to make all of his deliveries. All of the vehicle’s maintenance allegedly came from his own pocket as well.
The expenses apparently did not stop there. He also claims that he was to pay for his uniforms, a scanner for his packages, inspections and required drug tests. If there were any claims against him for lost packages, he asserts that the company took exorbitant fees from his pay and threatened to terminate his contract. The plaintiff claimed that all of the expenses ultimately ruined his marriage and caused him to file for bankruptcy. The IRS eventually reviewed his contract and informed him that he was actually an employee, not a contractor, which prompted the man to do some research and realize that he was not alone in this dilemma.
He, as well as other drivers, filed claims against FedEx, accusing them of a misclassification of employees. The plaintiff won $90,000 in compensatory damages. Texas workers who find themselves in similar situations may choose to pursue legal action against their employer. In a successful case, the claimant may be awarded lost wages and any other applicable financial relief under our employment laws. The court may also require the company to permanently change the class of contractors to employees.
Source: erietvnews.com, “The FedEx driver who sued and won”, Ben Rooney, Nov. 20, 2014