Los Angeles port driver employee rule on hold

A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction preventing the Port of Los Angeles from implementing its driver employee requirement, but allowing enforcement of its off-street parking provision.

On Oct. 25, the American Trucking Associations won its request for the preliminary injunction, pending appeal, regarding the mandate that truckers regularly serving the port be carrier employees, rather than owner-operators.

In granting the injunction, Judge Christina Snyder, for the U.S. Central District of California, said the case “presents serious legal questions concerning the market participant doctrine.” In her Aug. 26 ruling, she concluded federal law allows a market exemption if the port’s actions are considered that of a business proprietor, not as a regulator. She determined the port is a proprietor.

The ATA filed its request for an appeal in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 16. It argued Snyder had made legal errors, including not permitting discovery and introduction of certain evidence.

Snyder’s Sept. 10 final judgment dissolved the previous preliminary injunction, which had prevented the port from fully enforcing its Clean Truck Program rules.

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission voted Sept. 27 to allow additional time for compliance with the transition to employee drivers, hiring preferences and off-street parking requirements.

Out-of-state and licensed motor carriers not having a concession agreement with the port are permitted up to 24 day passes annually.

Many ports nationwide have said they want to adopt the Los Angeles port model.