Upcoming Elections Could Determine Fate of Trucking’s Independent Contractor Model

Washington D.C. – The upcoming U.S. elections could determine the fate of trucking’s independent contractor model.

Trucking stakeholders are preparing for this year’s elections with the keen understanding that the outcome could dramatically shift the way many companies do business related to independent contractors.




 

In February of this year, the Democratically-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.”

The PRO Act includes language similar to California’s controversial Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which imposes an “ABC test” to determine the status of an independent contractor.

At issue, just as in AB5, is the so-called “B prong,” which classifies a worker as an “employee” of the company unless that worker “performs work outside the usual course of the business of the employer.”

Supporters of the PRO Act — such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters — said the legislation will “restore fairness to the economy.”

However, critics within the trucking industry fear, if enacted, the PRO Act would wipe out trucking’s independent contractor model on a national scale.

Click HERE to read more about the PRO Act.

 

Many trucking stakeholders have taken solace in the fact the U.S. Senate is currently under Republican control and President Donald Trump would likely veto the legislation should it reach his desk.

However, control of the Senate is in play for Democrats in this election cycle with Republican incumbents such as Senators Susan Collins (ME), Cory Gardner (CO), Thom Tillis (NC) and others facing difficult re-election battles.

Add to this the fact that most national and battleground state polls have President Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the White House, and the prospects of the PRO Act becoming law are very real.


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Meanwhile, the legal battle over AB5 continues to rage on in California.

In January, a federal judge indefinitely blocked enforcement of AB5 on motor carriers until a lawsuit filed by the California Trucking Association (CTA) challenging the law works its way through the court system.




 

A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel recently heard arguments by the State of California and the Teamsters challenging the injunction and seeking to have it overturned.

An opinion on the matter could be issued soon.

No matter the legal outcome in the Golden State, Democrats hoping to enact the PRO Act on the entire nation may soon have their wish.

Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow the issue closely.

 


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