When Michael Griffin, Diane Gordon and Clarence Kelly became contract drivers for FedEx, they were looking for some independence. They didn't find it.
Although the company classified them as independent contractors and not employees, FedEx controlled a great deal of their time, decisions and finances. It required them to buy FedEx uniforms and trucks with their own funds, told them they couldn't use those trucks for any purpose other than delivering FedEx packages, chose where and when the contractors had those trucks serviced and insured, and dictated when and how they were to deliver packages on their routes.
"The advantages of being an independent contractor are setting your own hours, having several clients and negotiating your own pay," she says. "An independent contractor is totally responsible for the job and doesn't report to the company. Here, it looks like FedEx was calling the shots."
A California court recently agreed with her assessment.