Court rejects trucking industry’s request for a new AB 5 hearing
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The California Trucking Association said it plans to appeal to the United States Supreme Court to prevent passage of California’s restrictive AB 5 law after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the request on Monday. of the group of a new bench hearing. The request for a new hearing was dismissed in a 2-1 decision on Monday.
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The court ruled in April that the ABC test included in Law AB 5 applied to trucking companies and quashed an injunction that had exempted the trucking industry from state law and the ABC test to determine the validity of any independent contractor classification.
Transportation specialists Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen and Feary said the injunction could be lifted and the law would apply to trucking as of June 28. the term of the Ninth Circuit until the Supreme Court decides whether or not to take the case. “
Scopelitis also noted that under special pandemic timing rules, CTA has 150 days to apply to SCOTUS for a writ of certiorari to see if the court will take the case.
In its denial, the Ninth Circuit said that “the request for a new bench hearing has been circulated to the judges of the tribunal, and no judge has requested a vote for a bench review.
“While the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to deny a bench hearing is disappointing, we are committed to continuing our efforts to protect California’s 70,000 independent truckers,” the California Trucking Association said in a statement Monday. the nation’s supply chain into a new chaos and destroying the livelihoods of thousands of blue collar entrepreneurs.
[Related: California AB 5: Likely next steps, wait-and-see mode, unanswered questions prevail among small fleets, leased operators]
The CTA added that, despite the setback, it is not giving up its efforts to have trucking exempt from the law.
“We will consider all options to avoid greater damages, including filing a motion to delay the removal of the preliminary injunction, while we also call on the United States Supreme Court to review our case.” , the group said.
The AB 5 law came into effect in early 2020, but a district judge granted CTA an injunction on the grounds that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (F4A or FAAAA) preempted the application of the ABC test to trucking. F4A takes precedence over any state-level law that “interferes with the prices, routes and services” of motor carriers.
Part “B” of the ABC test is particularly problematic for traditional rental arrangements with owner-operators classified as independent contractors, since it requires a contractor to be outside the ordinary course of business of the entity with which the contract was concluded.
Joe Rajkovacz, director of government affairs and communications for the Western States Trucking Association, said his group had always believed the outcome of AB 5 and its application to trucking would end up in the Supreme Court.
“There is now a split between two circuits over whether the ‘B’ part of an ABC test can be applied to the trucking industry,” he said in a statement. “There are so many ‘exclusions’ to AB 5 (including a voter authorized exemption for ridesharing companies) that it expands the state’s gullibility in arguing that AB 5 is a law of general application therefore immune to federal preemption. “