California Court: Alleged Independent Contractor Drivers Are Employees

In Estrada v. Fedex Ground Package System, Inc., the Court of Appeal upheld the trial court's determination that certain FedEx drivers were mis-classified as independent contractors.

There's a lot more to the court's analysis, but this pretty much sums up the court's discussion of the independent contractor issue:
FedEx’s control over every exquisite detail of the drivers’ performance, including the color of their socks and the style of their hair, supports the trial court’s onclusion that the drivers are employees, not independent contractors.

The Court of Appeal also denied FedEx's appeal of the class certification order. The Court concisely summarized the requirements:

A class action requires an ascertainable class with a well-defined community of
interest among its members. Community of interest, in turn, requires that common questions of law or fact predominate, and that class representatives (who must be able to adequately represent the class) have claims typical of the class. The class is ascertainable if it identifies a group of unnamed plaintiffs by describing a set of common characteristics sufficient to allow a member of that group to identify himself as having a right to recover based on the description.

Finally, the Court of Appeal ruled once and for all that employers may require employees to use their own vehicles as part of the job. (Of course, the employee must be reimbursed for the expenses associated with using the vehicle).