CTA and OOIDA Prepare New Battle Against AB-5
AB-5, a law regarding the classification of workers depending on a variety of standards, may be the law of the land in the most populous state, California, but that is not stopping the trucking industry from challenging it from applying to the industry. Now, the California Trucking Association (CTA) and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) are filing a new injunction against it.
The two associations have until May 22nd to file additional details regarding their preliminary injunction hearing against AB-5 and why it should not apply to trucking.
Part of the argument the OOIDA has against AB-5 is that there is currently an exemption for truckers working as independent contractors for construction firms, but not for other forms of delivery. Filed on April 19th, OOIDA’s original filing included: “Exempted from AB 5 some truck drivers who are indistinguishable with respect to the relevant business conditions from those truck drivers represented by OOIDA to whom AB 5 applies,” and OOIDA argues that this is a result of “political animus motivated the disparate treatment of these truckers.”
Arguing that AB-5 applies to trucking as a method of political discrimination, against a group that is predominantly Republican in a predominantly Democrat state, will be an uphill battle to prove, but if the OOIDA and by extension the CTA are able to prove it, it will cause California to have one of two options: either remove the exemption for construction trucking, or apply it to all.
Even if this injunction does not go through in the way that the OOIDA and CTA want it to, there still exist many ways that the trucking industry can work around it.
Originally AB-5 was intended to curtail the “gig economy” of workers such as DoorDash and Uber, but those companies were able to carve their own exemption through a state proposition that was voted upon by the state populace. Perhaps the trucking industry could work together to petition to get something similar on the ballot in the future? This is just a speculation, but if the original targets of AB-5 can beat it, so can the trucking industry.
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