AB5, still an issue at the forefront of California truckers’ and companies’ worries, is still a developing story. Here is what has happened recently and what may be ahead.
What is AB5?
Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) is a bill in California that seeks to reclassify many independent contractors as employees. The legislature’s goal was for workers in the gig economy to receive the protections employees do, like insurance. The bill, however, essentially outlaws a whole category of truck drivers: leased owner-operators. This is why truck drivers, logistics companies, and driver associations have pushed back so heavily on AB5. Read more about AB5 and its early history here.
Secretary of Labor Nominee
One of the most recent topics making news concerning AB5 is the nomination of Julie Su as the Secretary of Labor. Su, an integral member of the creation of AB5, has yet to receive much support from organizations like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), who have reached out to congress members in an attempt to push back against her nomination. Because of Julie Su’s role in AB5 and her apparent lack of support from various industries, supporters are worried that Su will have difficulty getting votes in the Senate required to take her seat in the Department of Labor. Should she take the position as the Secretary of Labor, contracted employment may become more contentious at a federal level.
Looking Ahead at AB5
As for the future of AB5, it is just as uncertain as ever. There are few developments in lawsuits against the state by driver advocacy organizations, but we should see some soon. The state was granted more time to respond to a motion for a preliminary injunction of AB5; they will have until March 29th. The move was submitted by The California Trucking Association and OOIDA and hoped further to delay the enforcement of AB5 for the industry. OOIDA argues that the bill makes interstate commerce more complex, a violation of the Commerce Clause.
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