In a short order following oral argument, Judge Juan R. Sanchez of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied an FLSA defendant’s motion for summary judgment seeking a ruling that it properly classified its delivery couriers as independent contractors under the FLSA.  Spellman, et al. v. American Eagle Express, Inc., E.D. Pa., No. 10-cv-1764.

In so ruling without further discussion in the order, Judge Sanchez declined to address or follow recent FLSA authority upholding similar employer classifications on summary judgment. See Velu v. Velocity Express, Inc., 666 F. Supp. 2d 300 (E.D.N.Y. 2009); Browning v. Ceva Freight, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114002 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 11, 2012). The Spellman ruling highlights the inconsistent manner in which courts often analysis similar FLSA issues, a frustrating reality for employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions.

Analysis of the FLSA decisions within an employer’s industry and jurisdictions of operation remains key to crafting compliant wage policy and practices and minimizing litigation risks.