November 29, 2007 / 2:05 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Calif Supreme Court denies FedEx appeal on drivers

(Recasts, adds FedEx comment, details)

LOS ANGELES, Nov 28 (Reuters) - California’s Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal by FedEx Corp (FDX.N), which sought to overturn a state court ruling that said the company’s drivers are employees, not independent contractors.

The lawsuit, Estrada vs. FedEx Ground Package System Inc., involves 200 people who worked under contracts struck by FedEx’s predecessor company.

It will be sent back to the state trial court for rulings on drivers’ expense reimbursements and fees for plaintiff’s attorneys, FedEx spokesman Maury Lane said.

A series of similar lawsuits from more than 30 states was recently granted class action status by a court in Indiana.

Those lawsuits also claim the control FedEx exercises over its contractors makes them employees, eligible for benefits.

FedEx has argued the contractors are entrepreneurs, not employees. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein and Dana Ford; Editing by Gary Hill)

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