Enforcement of California’s I/C Wipeout Law Delayed Until Case is Decided by Supreme Court
San Francisco, CA – A new court decision has temporarily blocked the enforcement of California’s controversial labor law many trucking groups say will wipe out the independent contractor model within the state.
On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit delivered a significant defeat to trucking stakeholders when in a 2-1 decision, the three judge panel denied a petition filed last month by the California Trucking Association (CTA) for an en banc rehearing of the court’s previous decision to lift a lower court’s injunction preventing the enforcement of California’s divisive Assembly Bill 5 law, known as AB-5, on motor carriers.
The 9th Circuit’s denial of the en banc petition paved the way for AB-5 to begin being enforced in as soon as seven days.
CTA vowed to appeal the 9th Circuit’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court in which it has 150 days to do so.
Additionally, CTA immediately requested a stay of the 9th Circuit’s decision to effectively prevent California officials from enforcing AB-5’s “ABC test” to determine if a worker is an independent contractor — and specifically, the “B-prong” which classifies a worker as an “employee” of the company unless that worker “performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business.”
CTA, along with groups such as the American Trucking Associations, Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association, and Western States Trucking Association, warned the 9th Circuit Court that enforcement of the “B-prong” would greatly harm as many as 70,000 independent contractors within the state and result in the elimination of trucking’s long-established owner-operator model in California.
In a new development on Wednesday, the 9th Circuit Court granted CTA’s request for a stay in order to allow CTA to petition the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.
If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, the injunction blocking the enforcement of AB-5 will remain in place pending a decision by the highest court in the land.
However, if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, the injunction will be lifted and enforcement of AB-5 on motor carriers will proceed.
While it is no sure bet the Supreme Court will hear the case, the 9th Circuit’s decision to grant CTA’s request for a stay can be viewed as an indication the 9th Circuit believes CTA’s case meets the criteria necessary to be considered by the Supreme Court.
TransportationNation.com will continue to track this story closely.