“Plaintiffs offer no analysis, guidance, or methodology to determine whether putative class members experienced the same allegedly improper wage deductions,” Judge Robert B. Kugler wrote for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
This is one of many suits filed by FedEx Ground drivers in at least 40 states alleging the company wrongly classified them as independent contractors rather than employees.
Here the drivers allege the misclassification resulted in unlawful deductions for workers’ compensation, employment taxes, and business expenses from their wages under the New Jersey Wage Payment Law.
They argue FedEx “micro-manages” their activities in such a way that they are really FedEx employees.
The NJWPL requires plaintiffs to show that the defendant deducted money from their earned wages and that such deductions weren’t permissible. That’s true if the plaintiffs are deemed employees as opposed to independent contractors, the court said.
But whether each class member was actually a victim of deductions raises individual questions that make class status inappropriate, the court said.
The court denied certification without prejudice, so the drivers can reformulate the class definition and try again.
Marchetti Law P.C. represented the drivers.
O’Melveny & Meyers LLP represented FedEx.
The case is Carrow v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., 2018 BL 470823, D.N.J., No. 16-3026, unpublished 12/19/18.