A judge has granted a preliminary injunction against California’s A.B. 5 law when it comes to truckers. The injunction bars authorities from enforcing AB5 against motor carriers until a lawsuit filed in opposition of A.B. 5 can be decided.
Judge Roger Benitez had granted truckers temporary relief just hours before the law went into effect on January 1st. Now, just three days after hearing oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by the California Trucking Association (CTA), Benitez has decided to award a temporary injunction. This allows owner-operators to continue business as usual at least until the case can be decided.
A.B. 5 is a California law aimed at so-called ‘gig economy’ companies like Uber and Lyft which rely on independent contractors for the majority of their services. Worker advocates claim that these gig workers should instead by classified as employees, and be eligible for all of the benefits that employees receive.
The new law institutes an “ABC” test for companies categorizing workers as independent contractors.
The three requirements are:
- That the worker is free from control and direction of the hiring entity
- That the worker performs work that is outside of the core business of the hiring entity
- That the worker engages in “an independently established trade, occupation or business.”
The judge’s temporary injunction comes too late for many owner-operators however. Reports indicate that many trucking companies started laying off California owner-operators in the lead up to AB5 to make sure that they wouldn’t run afoul of the law.
Now, those that are left are stuck in limbo, waiting to see how Benitez rules. Those drivers will likely have a long wait as any ruling is likely to be appealed by the losing side.