Update: 1st Circuit Denies FedEx Drivers’ Petition to Reconsider Decision that FAAAA Preempts the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute

Last month, Alexis P. Theriault wrote about the First Circuit’s decision in Schwann v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. In Schwann, the First Circuit held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAAA”) preempts a portion of the Massachusetts independent contractor statute, thereby making it easier for delivery services – like FedEx – to employ delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Shortly after the First Circuit issued its decision, the FedEx drivers filed a petition in the First Circuit for rehearing en banc, arguing that the First Circuit panel incorrectly concluded that the FAAAA preempts the Massachusetts independent contractor statute. On April 12, 2016, the First Circuit denied the drivers’ petition for rehearing en banc, thereby affirming the panel’s preemption holding.

Having now exhausted all of their options for review at the First Circuit, the FedEx drivers’ only remaining appellate option is to file a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you would like to learn more about the Massachusetts independent contractor statute, as well as how and why courts classify workers as either “independent contractors” or “employees,” click here.


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