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Overdrive Staff | September 01, 2010

Fuller continued to buy Freightliners when he and Patrick Quinn launched U.S. Xpress in 1985. As the company grew, U.S. Xpress bought as many as 3,000 or 4,000 trucks a year.

— Avery Vise



FedEx Ground settles driver suit

FedEx Ground will pay $3 million to Massachusetts to settle claims that the company misclassified drivers as independent contractors.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley announced the agreement with Pittsburgh-based FedEx Ground. She alleged the misclassification resulted in less revenue in payroll taxes, worker’s compensation and unemployment assistance for Massachusetts.

FedEx Ground denies liability in the settlement. A spokesman for the Pennsylvania-based subsidiary of FedEx didn’t return a request for comment.

In 2007, Coakley’s office cited FedEx Ground for violations of the state’s independent contractor law, which included failing to provide drivers with a proper pay stub and not paying overtime to certain drivers.

FedEx Ground appealed this to the Division of Administrative Law Appeals over penalties of more than $190,000. The AG then did further investigation with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Revenue, which indicated significant underpayments to the revenue department, Coakley said.

The settlement amount is for these underpayments and to 13 drivers named in the AG’s citation. These drivers have a separate pending suit not affected by this settlement.

In May, FedEx Ground issued new standards for its then 12,000 owner-operators, including requiring independent contractors to be incorporated.

— Jill Dunn



SHORT HAULS

NET ORDERS for heavy-duty Class 8 commercial vehicles reached the highest level of the year in June, increasing 93 percent over a year earlier, according to ACT Research Co. On a year-to-date basis, net orders for Class 8 vehicles are up by 50 percent.

U.S. SURFACE TRADE with Canada and Mexico was 39.5 percent higher in May than in May 2009, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the U.S. Department of Transportation. May was the third month in the last four with a record percentage year-over-year increase.

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