Many independent truckers or owner-operators are focused on AB-5, which, if passed into law, could affect hundreds of thousands of freelance workers across the state. This law will not only affect independent truckers but Lyft and Uber drivers as well.
Actually, anyone that provides a service as a freelance operator could be interpreted as an employee — even those who currently consider themselves independent contractors or freelancers. The bill's verbiage will force employers to treat anyone who provides a basic service that is fundamentally the same as the company's as an employee. That means instead of paying their contracted price, they must meet the standards of the minimum wage, overtime, health insurance benefits, and a host of other distinctions, including higher taxes being deducted from the front end.
Previously, independent contractors were thought to be responsible for ensuring the price they charged in a contract would cover these requirements. Experts estimate as many as 137,000 small trucking firms will be disadvantaged by the new law. Rather than subcontracting shipments they can't handle internally, they may have to reduce operations.
Is the State Bent on Crippling Truckers and Trucking?
Some look at the fuel taxes, AB-5, and enforcement of California Air Resources Board (CARB) laws on all truckers, even those licensed and registered in other states, as the creation of hostilities toward truckers.
A California court handed fines to two out-of-state trucking fleets for not ensuring their trucks met the CARB requirement while hauling freight through the state. These penalties were a first for CARB, going out of state to fine freight carriers, but will it be the last? And, what message does it send to truckers? Most would assume that if they meet or exceed FMCSA requirements, they can operate anywhere in the USA.
Need Help with a Trucker Ticket in Truckee, CA?
Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, when you have violations from a roadside inspection at the weigh station in Truckee. We handle traffic tickets for CDL holders from across California. We handle traffic violations only and use a flat fee. Regardless of how many court appearances we need to make on your behalf, our fee never changes.
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The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The FreightWaves.com article, California’s hostile environment for the trucking industry
The Trucks.com article, New Labor Rulings Favor Motor Carriers Operating in CaliforniaThe Reuter’s article, California truckers brace for new 'gig worker' rules