The Ninth Circuit has ruled that California’s Assembly Bill 5 applies to the trucking industry, making it very unlikely that trucking companies can continue to classify their drivers as independent contractors in California.
According to A.B. 5, employers are required to use the ABC test when classifying workers. The ABC test is used to determine whether workers must be classified as employees or independent contractors. Employees are entitled to several benefits and protections that independent contractors are not, including being paid the minimum wage and overtime, being provided meal and rest breaks, being offered sick leave, tax benefits, and more.
In CTA et al. v. Bonta et al., the Ninth Circuit found that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, a federal law, does not preempt classification standards outlined in A.B. 5 as they pertain to the trucking industry. While the California Trucking Association expressed disappointment with the decision, the Ninth Circuit stands by its decision, stating that it will “continue to defend laws that are designed to protect workers and ensure fair labor and business practices.” The opinion can be found here.
If you work in the trucking industry and think you may have been misclassified as an independent contractor, please feel free to reach out to Lebe Law.