UPS may be Forced to Deliver Overtime Pay to Drivers

            Ernesto Carrera and Christopher Stephenson, sued UPS Supply Chain Solutions, Inc. (“SCS”), a subsidiary and sister company of UPS, for minimum wage and overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  SCS is self-described as a logistics company that manages other companies’ supply chains, and as part of that, operates hundreds of distribution centers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

             The drivers worked in Fort Lauderdale and Miami as delivery drivers for SCS.  Delivery assignments were made by SCS from a list of drivers in the area.  When the driver’s name reached the top of the list they were offered the job, which they could refuse or accept.  Drivers usually accepted the jobs, because if they declined, their name went to the bottom of the list. 

             SCS classified the workers as “independent contractors” under a non-negotiable piece rate method of payment where drivers were paid either a lump sum within a specified area or a flat rate per mile outside the area.  Drivers were not paid for the time they spent waiting for assignments despite claims that they were required to wait around the warehouse and were prevented from being able to pursue work at other locations during the waiting time. The drivers claimed they were paid below the minimum wage and were denied overtime pay.  SCS contends that drivers are independent contractors, and as such, are not owed minimum wage and overtime premiums.

             The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida allowed the case to proceed as a collective action, finding that a class of similarly situated drivers existed and that such class members may join the lawsuit.