Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch has joined 7 other state’s Attorneys General in writing to Fed Ex and urging them to properly classify their workers as employees rather than independent contractors.
Thirty states are investigating FedEx Ground to determine if the company is misclassifying FedEx drivers as independent contractors through its owner-operator model. And more than 45 class-action lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts against the company’s classification of drivers.
In a joint letter Thursday to FedEx, the eight attorneys general cited shared concerns about workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance, wage-and-hour laws and protection of workers’ civil rights.
“Each of our states has a responsibility under our respective laws to protect a broad range of interests associated with the employment status of an individual,” said the letter sent jointly by Montana’s Attorney General Steve Bullock and attorneys general from Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The letter said the eight states have formed a working group to address changes in FedEx Ground’s business model to ensure proper classification of workers.
A FedEx spokesman in Memphis, Tenn., did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
Obviously, if these employees are properly labeled as employees, then they will have collective bargaining rights.