2022-30: Truckers’ challenge to AB 5 denied

After this case appeared to still be in limbo earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied to review California Trucking Association v. Bonta. This means AB 5 will go into effect immediately for these transportation workers.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals now must dissolve the stay that had allowed the injunction to remain in place while the California Trucking Association waited to see whether its case would be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is expected to happen quickly.

Of concern for the trucking industry was the B prong of the ABC test, which defines an independent contractor as a worker who “performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.” A trucking company hiring an independent owner–operator would presumably fail the B prong of the ABC test; all prongs must be met for the worker to be an independent contractor.

Application of the ABC test under AB 5 will mean reclassifying drivers as employees in many cases.

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