It has been over a year since the Ninth Circuit has ruled in favor of California’s AB-5 law. The California Trucking Association had appealed to the United Supreme Court, and the injunction has stayed in place ever since. Could the Supreme Court hold a hearing regarding the case before its current Term ends?
There are four outcomes that may happen in the next month or so:
- The Supreme Court declines to hear the case outright, AB-5 starts applying to truckers immediately.
- The Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, but eventually sides with Xavier Becerra (the case name being CTA v. Becerra), and AB-5 starts applying to truckers immediately.
- The Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, and eventually sides with the CTA. Trucking is exempt from AB-5.
- The Supreme Court holds off on any decision for the current Term, the injunction set by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez stays in place for another few months at minimum.
The way things are set now, the injunction will stand for as long as the Supreme Court kicks the can down the road. However, with the Supreme Court currently being conservatively-leaning, truckers may want to hope to put this to rest as soon as possible.
Recently, the U.S. Solicitor General, Elizabeth Prelogar, has advised against hearing the case at all, but the Supreme Court is not required to agree with the Solicitor General’s guidance.
Whatever the final outcome is for AB-5 in regards to the trucking industry, it is hard to argue that the original intention of AB-5, that being to prevent work exploitation by intentional misclassification, has succeeded. The primary targets for the law, those being “gig economy” tech companies such as DoorDash and Lyft, have succeeded in carving exemptions for themselves.
We will keep you updated if anything happens regarding AB-5, the Supreme Court, and trucking. If we do not have an article out by mid-July, it is safe to assume that the injunction will be in place for at least another few months and things will carry on as usual.
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