California’s AB 5 labor law survives latest legal challenge

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California’s AB 5 law that classifies many truck drivers in the state as employees rather than independent contractors will continue to stand after a judge on Friday rejected the latest attempt by the California Trucking Association (CTA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) to overturn it.

Specifically, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California denied the CTA’s claims that California’s “Assembly Bill 5” test for worker status determination cannot be enforced against the trucking industry.

As a result, the trucking industry will remain subject to AB 5 just as it has been ever since the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the subject in June 2022, according to a statement from transportation industry law firm Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff.

The outcome is a win for California’s Attorney General and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which had opposed the trucking industry’s warning that enforcement of the law could lead to higher costs and less capacity.

Additional appeals may follow in the future, but they have not yet been filed, according to a note from transportation law firm Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary. “The district court judge was sympathetic to the disruptions and burdens AB 5 places on the trucking industry. However, he indicated it was better left to the legislature to remedy the problem. We anticipate CTA will appeal the decision, but there will be no relief from AB 5 in the meantime,” the firm said.








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