On Wednesday, July 13, truck drivers held a protest in California’s port gateway of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland against Assembly Bill 5, which aims to end the use of owner-operators in trucking.
The 110 freeway was backed up with cars and trucks from Sepulveda Boulevard and could be seen from Carson and Torrance.
What is AB5?
AB5 was originally passed in California in 2019 by Gov. Gavin Newsom and was designed to determine a worker’s status as an independent contractor or an employee. On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition from the California Trucking Association to hear the case, allowing for full enforcement of the law.
AB 5 created the presumption that a worker is an employee, rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring business can prove each part (A, B, and C) of the ABC test.
- An independent worker is free from the direct control of the hiring entity.
- The work performed by the worker is outside the usual scope of work of the employer.
- The worker is engaged in a trade that is customary to them as an independent contractor.
Employees, unlike contractors, are legally guaranteed minimum wages, overtime pay, and workers’ compensation benefits. This could result in lower wages and a decrease in overall benefits for truck drivers. With a dangerously low number of truck drivers currently, not passing AB5 has the potential to worsen the deficit of drivers.
The Port Protests
Source Journaling reports about 100 trucks at the Los Angeles Port and Long Beach which resulted in a delay in the Wednesday morning traffic.
“It is clear that a very large contingent of truck owners have taken recent developments regarding AB5 as a direct threat to their livelihoods,” said Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, in a statement.
“The frustration with the total lack of regard by the state of California for a business model that has provided thousands of men and women an opportunity to build and grow a business is now blatantly obvious.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t matter how many independent drivers stood up and expressed concerns during the legislative process for AB5 in 2019,” Schrap said. “They were basically ignored and essentially told by the governor and the legislature what was best for them and their families.”
The truck driver protests did not have any impact on operations at the Port of Los Angeles, said Executive Director Gene Seroka in a virtual briefing.
If you have additional questions about how to prepare for AB5 taking effect please consult with your lawyer and visit the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.
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