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Lower court formally lifts California trucking ban on AB5

Views: 19     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-08-31      Origin: Site

The AB5 bill, which led to strikes by truckers at the three major U.S. ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland (read more: LA/Long Beach Truckers Work Stoppage to Protest AB5), has been heard by a federal district court judge, Robert Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary. For now, the injunction that kept California's AB5 independent contractor law from participating in the state's trucking sector has officially been lifted.


Lower court formally lifts California trucking ban on AB5-2


At a hearing Monday, federal District Court Judge Robert Benitez formally lifted the AB5 ban that had been in effect since New Year's Eve 2019, according to a statement issued by Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, a freight-focused law firm, it was reported. A document of the court's ruling was not yet available online at the time of publication.


The lifting of the ban was expected after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the ban originally issued by Benitez in April 2021. Nonetheless, the appellate court's ruling overturning Benitez's injunction allowed the injunction to remain in place while the California Trucking Association, which filed the original lawsuit in the case, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Lower court formally lifts California trucking ban on AB5


When the high court chose not to review the case, California Trucking Assn. v. Bonta, returned it to the Court of Appeals. That court, in turn, issued an order to the district court ordering the injunction vacated.


But the case isn't over yet. the legal argument the CTA made - that AB5 violates parts of the Federal Aviation Administration's Enabling Act in trucking in California - was only argued through a motion for injunction, not through a full court proceeding. Now, the CTA will pursue the case from the beginning and ask for a new injunction.


According to the Scopelitis Memorandum, a previous Benitez decision rejecting CTA arguments regarding AB5 and the dormant Commerce Clause affecting interstate commerce was vacated by Benitez at the request of the CTA. The question of whether the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) can intervene in the case remains to be decided.


According to earlier court filings, the next step is to file briefs in the case, which will likely take place in December.


AB5 calls for workers to be judged under the provisions of the so-called ABC test, which addresses the question of whether they are independent contractors or employees. For trucking in particular, the so-called B provision is quite problematic because it says independent contractors must be involved in "work outside the normal course of the hiring entity's business. Transportation companies that hire outside truck drivers risk being found in violation of Standard B.


"Today, California drivers can rest easy! Because they know that they have gotten rid of the trucking companies that misclassified their workers, and that the carriers can no longer use their workers or the people of California to further their bottom line," said an email from Teamsters PR agency Berlin Rosen, "These companies will be held accountable and Drivers' rights will be protected by law."

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