For the last 20 years, big companies have been able to work their truck drivers like dogs without having to take responsibility for bad things caused by their workers. Big companies do this by requiring each driver to be an independent contractor or his own small business. I love small business, but real ones. Many of these aren’t real.
The dividing line between an employee and an independent contractor is who gets to control how the work gets done. If FedEx tells its drivers how, when and where to work, FedEx has the control. FedEx’s enormous profit margins depend on evading employee expenses – insurance, benefits, liability charges. But, judges are starting to notice and dismantle these sham arrangements.
In this case, 2,300 men and women were forced to work overtime by FedEx, but weren’t paid overtime because they get treated as independent contractors. Here is why this matters: big businesses should not be able to reap the benefits of employees and avoid the costs. Big business should not get an unfair advantage over smaller companies who must, and do, obey the laws around minimum wage, insurance and overtime pay. Big businesses should not be able to push and pressure a trucker into long, urgent hauls, making the driver solely liable when he crashes his truck.
This is why the next interesting case in this area will be Tracy Morgan’s case against Walmart. It was a Walmart trucker – having been up for 25 hours to complete a Georgia to Delaware drive – who crashed into Morgan’s limo severely injuring him and killing another passenger. Walmart has disclaimed responsibility, saying that the driver was an independent contractor.
Read the original article here.
Story via Huffington Post