July 31, 2022

AB5 Timeline and Truck Driver Concerns
AB5 Timeline and Truck Driver Concerns
Assembly Bill 5 passed questioning status of independent contractors including owner-operator truck drivers.

Assembly Bill 5, or AB5, is a 3-part “ABC” test created for independent contractors in California and passed by the Supreme Court in September 2019. The law aims to extend workers’ benefits, eliminate the misclassification of workers, and protect them from companies that use these misclassifications to avoid certain financial obligations. The bill is about redefining what it means to be an employee to ensure equal and fair benefits.

Why are Truck Drivers Concerned About Ab5?

The main pushback the law is receiving is from owner-operator truck drivers, questioning their status as independent contractors. Owner-operators have relied on their independent contractor title to operate effectively with carriers, shippers, and brokers, all of which will be tested by the law. Truckers have already seen potential changes, such as speed limiters, and meeting these requirements will be something else to consider. Passing all three parts of the “ABC” test will be required for owner-operators to remain independent contractors, and the second part, or the “B” part of the test is proving to be the most difficult for truck drivers. The “B” of the “ABC” test says that an individual is an independent contractor if they “perform work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” The California Trucking Association and owner-operator truck drivers attempted to challenge the bill in an appeal. Long haul trucking has been a changing culture for some time and will continue to change and mold as regulations change.

AB5 Truck Driver Related Timeline of Events

September 9, 2019

First Appearance of AB5 and Red Flags Raised for Truck Drivers

The Supreme Court proposes Assembly Bill 5 questioning independent contractor status. Bill aims to extend employee benefits, but some are left wondering about their futures as independent contractors. Owner-operator truck drivers are raising concerns about future relationships between them and motor carriers.

September 10, 2021

Truck Driver Concerns Halt AB5

A petition is issued by the California Trucking Association and owner-operator truck drivers challenging the law and attempting to receive an exemption from the test for owner-operators. CTA v. Bonta hoped to add truck drivers to the independent contractors not affected by AB5. Until a decision is made by the Supreme Court to hear the case, owner-operator truck drivers would be protected from the bill.

June 30, 2022

Truck Drivers Denied Exemption from AB5

The Supreme Court denies CTA v. Bonta appeal, leaving truckers wondering about their futures as independent contractors and AB5 looming closer than ever.

July 13, 2022

Truck Driver Protests Erupt at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Hundreds of owner-operators blocked access to certain areas of the ports sporting signs against AB5 and the effect it would have on them. The bill will reclassify independent contractors who don’t pass the 3-part ABC test as company employees with set salaries and benefits.

July 20, 2022

Protests Continue as Truck Drivers Halt Oakland Port Operations

The Port of Oakland experienced congestion, leaving ocean carriers waiting for days off the coast, disrupting imports and exports. Similar supply chain delays were seen during trucker protests in Canada when vaccine mandates started affecting truckers traveling across borders.

August 22, 2022

Truck Drivers Uncertain About Effect of AB5

A hearing is set to determine specifics about AB5 and how it will affect truck drivers.