Delivery drivers and runners who worked for FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. have not been paid proper overtime wages in accordance with New Mexico law, a proposed class action alleges.
The plaintiff, who worked for FedEx through an independent service provider (ISP) between 2016 and February 2020, says he often worked well over 40 hours per week yet was paid only a day rate without time-and-a-half overtime wages.
According to the case, FedEx is ultimately responsible for ensuring drivers and runners are paid in accordance with state law, and cannot skirt its compliance obligations by “inserting ISPs between it and its drivers/runners.”
The lawsuit says that FedEx switched to the ISP model—whereby the company employs drivers through intermediary entities—to avoid liability after “years of defending litigation” challenging its classification of drivers as independent contractors.
“By creating a system in which FedEx employs delivery drivers and runners through intermediary FedEx ISPs, who generally have no other delivery business other than delivering to FedEx customers, FedEx has attempted to evade its responsibilities under the [New Mexico Minimum Wage Act],” the suit contests.
Under the ISP system, FedEx maintains a significant level of control over drivers and runners’ job duties, the suit says. Drivers and runners typically work full time for FedEx, delivering FedEx packages to FedEx customers while wearing FedEx uniforms and driving vehicles bearing the company’s logo and color scheme, according to the case.
Further, the services rendered by drivers and runners is integral to the defendant’s business, and must be performed in accordance with strict policies and procedures dictated by both FedEx and ISPs, the suit relays.
“These policies include a strict schedule of pickup and delivery of its packages to comply with FedEx’s same-day delivery requirements,” the complaint reads.
The case goes on to allege that FedEx “micromanages” the manner in which drivers and runners complete their assigned work, including by requiring workers to wear FedEx uniforms and place specific signage on their vehicles; assigning deliveries that must be delivered at a set time; requiring drivers and runners to scan all packages with scanners designated by the defendant; fielding comments and complaints regarding drivers’ and runners’ work performance and using its own discretion to take action in response; monitoring workers’ performance and tracking whether deliveries are “successful” based on its own standards; and maintaining authority to require that ISPs terminate drivers and runners.
When drivers work for a different ISP or even directly for FedEx, their job duties and procedures “do not differ in any material way,” the suit adds.
Despite the foregoing, drivers and runners were paid fixed “day rates” that did not include overtime pay even when they worked more than 40 hours per week, the lawsuit alleges. The plaintiff claims he generally worked 12 to 18 hours per day, six days per week, without receiving time-and-a-half overtime.
The plaintiff looks to represent all current or former New Mexico FedEx drivers and runners who were paid day rates without overtime compensation.
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