D.C. Circuit Unanimously Rejects NLRB “Independent Contractor” Misclassification Decision

Friday, March 3, 2017 - 2:45pm

In a unanimous decision, the D.C. Circuit held that the FedEx drivers in question are independent contractors, exempt from the NLRA.  In so holding, the opinion also concluded that the NLRB receives no deference in defining who constitutes an employee, as that question is rooted in the common law, an area in which the NLRB has no special expertise.

Previously, the U.S. Chamber filed a coalition brief arguing that this case is indistinguishable from a 2009 D.C. Circuit decision involving the same defendant, which held that similarly situated truck drivers were “independent contractors.”  The Chamber’s brief also criticized the NLRB’s apparent position that independent contractor arrangements are a disfavored “loophole” to the NLRA. 

The case is FedEx Home Delivery v. NLRB.