What the Supreme Court’s Decision Means for California’s Trucking Industry

October 15, 2022 5:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Here at K-Way Express Inc., we keep up with the latest news that can impact your trucking company or logistics company. The industry is very sensitive to potential changes, and it is our job to ensure that you know what those changes are and how they might impact your business. This is why we do our best to stay on top of the latest changes in the industry. Recently, a Supreme Court decision was the focus of our research. 

AB5 Law

California passed a law known as AB5 some number of years ago. This law caused confusion in many industries as it sought to reclassify certain workers from independent contractors to full-time employees. This is a problem in the logistics and trucking industries because many workers are hired occasionally to complete certain tasks. They do not work as full-fledged employees of the company. This arrangement works well for the workers, and for the companies alike. However, the state of California apparently thinks that it knows best about how workers should be classified, which is why it passed the AB5 law. Now, companies are scrambling to figure out what to do about the classification of their workers. 

The Supreme Court Decision

Sadly, the Supreme Court has decided NOT to offer an opinion on a lawsuit filed against the AB5 law. This leaves many truckers in a bind as the companies they perform tasks for must decide what to do next. There is an argument that many smaller trucking companies may have no choice but to cancel contracts with people who had been working for them on an independent contractor basis. If those smaller companies are forced to bring every independent contractor on as an employee, they simply cannot afford to do so, and they may have to close up shop. Instead, they are more likely to simply end contracts with those workers. 

Workers who had counted on the income that they make from private jobs with trucking and logistics companies might find themselves completely out of work at this time. 

This latest blow comes as many truckers are already worried about what the automation future that we are likely headed into means for them. They are already seeing self-driving trucks and other automated equipment as a threat to their livelihood, and it is understandable why they might feel that way. Now, they must also contend with the AB5 law that is potentially pushing them out the door with certain jobs that they had picked up as well.

This all adds to the stress and anxiety that many drivers have felt over the last few years as they have been asked to go above and beyond to keep the country running even as the COVID-19 pandemic spread. It has been a very trying time for truckers and the companies that they serve, and it seems like the Supreme Court has decided to turn a blind eye to the whole thing.

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