Owner-ops played starring role out West as AB 5 wound its way toward this week's Supreme Court filing

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Aug 21, 2021

The thumbnail image associated with today's podcast is a flyer that made its way around the Port of Oakland in 2019, part of the groundswell of grassroots advocacy that rose against AB 5, California's controversial contractor law. The testimonials of owner-operators in trucking dominated that advocacy in the Sacramento state legislature.

The grassroots effort didn't forestall the ultimate passage of AB 5, however, which codified a court decision to apply the ABC contractor test in the state. That test, to say the least, is problematic for owner-operator lease arrangements with motor carriers as they've traditionally been drawn up -- and federally recognized now for decades in the Truth in Leasing regulations.

[Related: Rumblings of protest out West around California contractor law]

In this week's edition of Overdrive Radio, we’re dropping into the annual Symposium event hosted by Overdrive sister fleet publication CCJ. This past Wednesday in Birmingham, Alabama, California Trucking Association CEO Shawn Yadon described what he saw with his own eyes in 2019 as AB 5-related advocacy rose. The result of that advocacy? A myriad of carveouts in the law by the legislature aimed at a laundry list of professions. Despite owner-operators' strong voices at the many hearings, no carveout for trucking emerged. 

But voices were heard and the stage was set for the eventual Supreme Court case Yadon and CTA filed Monday. In the podcast, hear much more on potential outcomes from both Yadon and transportation attorney Greg Feary of the Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen & Feary law firm. Both men had much more to say about the history of how we got to this point, with owner-operators and their contracting motor carriers still playing the high-stakes waiting game on the outcome at this point.

Feary, also, offered insight on carrier/owner-op preparations for potential adverse outcomes. Should you get your authority? If you're a carrier leasing owner-ops, should explore a brokerage with your shippers?

So much depends on where you're domiciled, and where you run, in the worst case scenarios. Take a listen: 

[Related: The California contractor conundrum: 'It's a waiting game, with a lot at stake'