Tentative OK in $226.5 Million FedEx Driver Settlement

A federal judge tentatively approved a $226.5 million settlement Thursday between FedEx and a class of delivery drivers misclassified as independent contractors, ending 10 years of litigation.

The class covers roughly 2,016 current and former FedEx pick-up and delivery drivers who worked for the company between November 2000 and August 2015 but were misclassified as independent contractors.

A second subgroup of FedEx employees are also part of the settlement.  They have worked for the company since 2011 and have claims for unpaid meals and rest breaks.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen issued a tentative approval of the settlement.

Class members are only required to submit claim forms and an IRS W-9 form, showing they worked for FedEx, according to the pact.

Attorney fees will be 22 percent of the fund, if approved by the court.

The issue of whether FedEx drivers were employees or independent contractors was appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the drivers should be classed as employees.

Of the total proposed $226.5 million settlement, $173.2 million goes directly to the class, a group with overtime claims will share $16 million, the meal and rest period class will divide $5.6 million.  Attorneys will receive $49.8 million and $35,000 goes for administration.

The state of California will receive $1.2 million in Private Attorney General Act penalties for violation of the wage and hour law, according to the terms.

The 17 original class representatives who filed the case will receive up to $10,000 each for serving as class representatives.

A final fairness hearing and approval is likely to be early next year.

Case: Alexander v. FedEx Ground, No. 05-38



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