On May 24th, 2017, Swift filed an appeal to the Arizona District Court’s Order and Opinion (Jan. 2017) in which the District Court ruled that the five named-plaintiff drivers are employees, not independent contractors as a matter of law, for the purposes of § 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act. That ruling was important for many reasons — first, it prevented the case from being sent to arbitration, and second, the Court agreed with Plaintiffs that drivers are employees as a matter of law. Swift’s appeal does not dispute that the District Court reached the correct decision. Instead, Swift argues that the District Court erred by considering the Lease as well as the “Contractor Agreement” in reaching its decision. The drivers’ response to the appeal brief is due on Thursday, June 22nd, and Swift has until July 7th to file their response. Once the appeal is fully briefed the court may or may not assign a date for oral argument.
The Drivers have moved to renew (883) their Collective Action Motion (105), which is fully briefed by both sides, and have moved for Class Certification of a nationwide class of Lease Operators (884). If class certification is granted, notice will issue to all drivers who may have eligible claims. However, over Plaintiffs’ objections, the District Court stayed the case for the duration of the appeal. Plaintiffs moved the Court to lift the stay in order to require Swift to provide names and contact information for all drivers who may be able to participate in this case, and the Court required Swift to provide this information by June 19th.