On Thursday January 16th, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez said “California runs off the road and into the preemption ditch” of federal law, as he indefinitely blocked the new California labor law (AB5). “There is little question that the State of California has encroached on Congress’ territory, by eliminating motor carriers’ choice to use independent contractor drivers, a choice at the very heart of interstate trucking”.
In response, the State of California attorney generals office said it is reviewing the judge’s decision in the trucking case, and said “our office has and will continue to defend laws that are designed to protect workers and fair labor and business practices.”
Judge Benitez’s decision is a significant win for the independent truckers, and the trucking companies that contract with them. Still pending are lawsuits involving Uber and Lift drivers, as well as other industries whose business model uses independent contracts.
From the language of the California Attorney General’s office, it appears as if they’re not giving up with their attempts to classify independent truck drivers as employees, with all of the negative consequences to the drivers and the customers of the trucking companies involved. We’ll keep you posted!