Fedex Settles CA Wage and Hour Lawsuit for Undisclosed Amount
California truck drivers who accused FedEx Freight Inc. of failing to pay them adequate wages will be compensated from an undisclosed wage and hour settlement amount, according to an agreement recently approved by a federal judge.
U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd signed off on preliminary approval of the Fedex wage and hour settlement, marking the beginning of the end of an approximately two-year-long class action lawsuit over wages, break time and other compensation.
Final approval is pending a hearing scheduled for June 2016.
The settlement will provide compensation to a group of about 1,600 truck drivers that was certified as a plaintiff class in July 2015. A little more than two-thirds of the undisclosed settlement amount will serve as compensation for the truck drivers, according to Judge Drozd.
The rest will cover administration of payments, attorneys’ fees and court costs, and applicable penalties under California labor laws.
The major terms of the settlement will remain redacted in publicly available court documents. Judge Drozd reviewed the unredacted version of the settlement, which will remain sealed.
Without disclosing the essential terms of the settlement, Judge Drozd said they met the legal requirements for settlement of a wage and hour class action lawsuit in terms of fairness, reasonableness, and the circumstances under which they were negotiated.
The judge commented that the size of the settlement payment was “substantial,” given the size of the plaintiff class and the allegations made.
Drivers Alleged Violations of Wage and Hour Laws
In initiating this wage and hour class action lawsuit in 2013, lead plaintiff Roy T. alleged that FedEx Freight had systematically failed to pay drivers while they executed many tasks that were ancillary to their core driving work.
According to Judge Drozd’s order, Fed Ex Freight paid truck drivers mileage-based compensation for nondriving activities, regardless of whether the drivers were line haul drivers or nonregular line drivers.
Roy said that as a result of this policy, drivers went unpaid for time spent inspecting trucks, waiting to switch trailers, and driving to and from designated locations, as well as for nonpersonal time spent at hotels.
He also alleged Fed Ex Freight had failed to provide rest and meal periods, accurate itemized wage statements, and timely compensation upon termination, as required by California labor laws.
The plaintiff class encompasses “all California-based employees who worked for FedEx Freight as road drivers or other drivers paid by the hour to the extent they performed road runs paid on a piece rate basis, in California on or after January 28, 2012, through December 31, 2015.”
An earlier lawsuit brought by FedEx Ground California drivers also resulted in a settlement in 2015. A group of drivers for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery had alleged the company had misclassified them as contractors instead of employees and had failed to pay them properly under California wage and hour law.
The ligitation ended with a settlement agreement worth $228 million.
The FedEx Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit is Case No. 1:13-CV-01137 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.