California Trucking Association asks for rehearing on recent AB 5 ruling

California Trucking Association officially files for AB 5 rehearing
The California Trucking Association (CTA) this week officially filed for the Ninth Circuit Court to rehear the controversial AB 5 contractor law.

The move had been long expected, as the CTA said earlier this month that it planned to seek an en banc review of the case, which would require all 29 judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to vote yay or nay on rehearing the case. 

If a simple majority votes in favor, 11 of the judges will rehear the case that the CTA says could require big disruptions for up to 70,000 owner-operators in the Golden State, particularly those leased to a motor carrier. 

The AB 5 law took effect in the beginning of 2020, but a district court judge granted the CTA an injunction, citing the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, which preempts any state-level law that would “interfere with prices, routes and services” of motor carriers. 

On April 28, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an injunction in a blow to the CTA’s cause. A panel of three judges at that time ruled that the ABC test for classifying workers as independent contractors couldn’t be preempted by the FAAAA, ruling 2-1 that the test was a “generally applicable labor law that affects a motor carrier’s relationship with its workforce and does not bind, compel, or otherwise freeze into place the prices, routes, or services of motor carriers.”

By pushing to rehear the case, the CTA has bought California truckers more time, as AB 5 won’t be enforced until the legal battle ends.

If denied again by the Ninth Circuit, the CTA could choose to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. 

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling to enforce the use of the ABC test runs counter to a nearly identical Massachusetts law that the First Circuit Court in 2016 ruled was preempted by the FAAAA, which bodes well for the CTA should the case escalate to the Supreme Court.

[Related: California A.B. 5: Like next steps, wait-and-see mode, more for truckers in the way of court ruling]  

J&R Schugel unveils Mental Health Awareness rig

J&R Schugel Trucking's Mental Health Awareness truckJ&R Schugel Trucking's Mental Health Awareness truck

To support Mental Health Awareness Month in May, J&R Schugel Trucking has wrapped a Kenworth T680 to support the cause and promote awareness. J&R Schugel plans to assign the truck to one of their truck drivers in the near future.

“We are living in unprecedented times and many are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming and emotionally draining” said Dan Denhof, President/CEO.

J&R Schugel chose to wrap a truck surrounding a topic that has had an impact on so many individuals and their families.

“This is our third truck wrap, and it was inspired by the unique times we have all experienced over the last year and most importantly brought the topic of mental health awareness to all of us at Schugel,” Denhof added. “At J&R Schugel Trucking, our employees want to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues and help reduce the stigma that may be associated with seeking help.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, research shows that mental illnesses are common in the United States, affecting tens of millions of people each year and these numbers have only grown due to the COVID19 pandemic.

[Related: You are not alone in the fight for stable mental health]

The Business Manual for Owner-Operators
Overdrive editors and ATBS present the industry’s best manual for prospective and committed owner-operators. You’ll find exceptional depth on many issues in the 2022 edition of Partners in Business.
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