GNB Trucking Co. in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley has said FedEx controls the hiring and firing of its drivers and a host of other business terms.
One of the requirements of holding a commercial driver's license is the ability to communicate, although the rule is open to interpretation.
"I think for a driver, my English is not too bad," Aliyev has said.
His lawyer says a FedEx manager ordered the firing without bothering to talk with Aliyev, and that the driver even offered to fly to FedEx headquarters to demonstrate his language skills but was turned down.
FedEx is arguing it can't be sued because Aliyev didn't work directly for the company, but Wilde says FedEx dictated the terms of employment for GNB drivers down to their compensation and the routes and loads they were to deliver.
FedEx even provided contract drivers with uniforms, according to the lawsuit, which was filed Nov. 23 in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.