Legal Blog

What’s in a Job Title? FedEx Case Illustrates Consequences of Misclassifying Workers

FedEx recently settled a lawsuit with the state of New York for misclassifying package delivery drivers as “independent contractors” rather than “employees.” The lawsuit alleges that classification as independent contractors meant that FedEx did not pay overtime and improperly withdrew certain deductions. The lawsuit will result in $2.1 million in payments by FedEx to the affected employees.

Classifying a worker as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee is a fact-intensive analysis that should be taken seriously by all employers. Important factors include, but are not limited to, whether the employer can control/direct the worker, controls their schedule, and provides them with training. Employers should make the determination of whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee as soon as they are hired so that issues do not come up (i.e.: lawsuits) that could result in back pay and other penalties. Vetting worker-status issues at an early stage with the assistance of counsel can result in less headaches in the long term.

If you have any questions about this or any other Labor and Employment topic, please contact me at or 703-745-1849



Theodora Stringham assists individuals, businesses, and organizations with growing successfully while minimizing liability. Focusing on real estate and personnel needs, Ms. Stringham executes sustainable plans for real estate development and employee matters. She provides comprehensive representation for everyday growth issues, including, but not limited to, re-zonings, site plan approvals, eminent domain/valuation concerns, employment discrimination, and disciplinary issues. Ms. Stringham’s scope of representation ranges from identifying potential liability and providing counseling/trainings, all the way through representation at trial.







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