In a decision issued on August 27, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in a case captioned Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, determined that FedEx Ground drivers were employees as a matter of law under California’s right-to-control test. In reaching its conclusion, the Court found that when viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to FedEx, the Operating Agreement between FedEx and its drivers grants FedEx a broad right to control the manner in which the drivers perform their work, and the most important factor of the right-to-control test strongly favors employee status.
In reaching the same conclusion in June, 2014 in the Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics case, the same Court, albeit through different judges, concluded that the undisputed facts indicated that Affinity had the right to control the details of the drivers’ work, and the application of the secondary factors weighed toward finding that drivers were employees.
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