In the wake of owner-operator protests over California’s AB 5 independent contractor classification law that effectively shut down operations at the Port of Oakland for a week in late July, a California court has granted the port an injunction that blocks future protests specifically that intend to block or impede access to or from the port.
The suit was filed by the city of Oakland and port officials alleging a "carefully planned and orchestrated campaign intended to block traffic, create life safety hazards for persons intending to work and/or do business" at the port and "prevent vital interstate and international commerce from being conducted."
Those "Illegal activities” alleged by the suit included "walking other than on left edge of roadway," failure to yield, "stopping or delaying traffic in a marked or unmarked crosswalk," trespassing, criminal nuisance, obstructing an officer, and more.
Such allegations were supported in the suit's text as filed with an account from a private investigator who said he monitored protestors on a single day -- the final Friday of the protests -- helping identify the four named defendants and witnessing the various alleged activities.
In a stipulated permanent injunction filed Monday by the Alameda County Superior Court, the court found that the case is “a proper case for issuance of a permanent injunction” and “unless the court issues a permanent injunction, the port and the public at large will suffer irreparable injury.”
The court clarified that “inadvertent blocking of short duration (i.e. less than 10 minutes) in the course of bona fide legal business with port tenants shall not be construed as a violation of this injunction.”
California's controversial AB 5 law tightens the screws on employers contracting with independent contractors with an ABC test for contractor classification. The test's B portion is next-to-impossible for carriers to meet if they're utilizing owner-operators in traditional, federally recognized lease agreements. After a series of court challenges, and an injunction barring the law's application to trucking, the law was allowed to apply to trucking industry just yesterday. Find that news via this link.
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