(SACRAMENTO) — The U.S. Southern District Court today granted a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of California’s new employment classification test against motor carriers. This classification test was first set forth in the Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court (Dynamex) decision and was subsequently codified by the California Legislature in the form of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). The bill was set to take effect on January 1, 2020.
“This ruling is a significant win for California’s more than 70,000 independent owner-operators and CTA members who have worked as independent truckers for decades, and who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to own their own vehicle and comply with California’s strict environmental guidelines and regulations over the years,” said Shawn Yadon, chief executive officer for the California Trucking Association (CTA).
The CTA filed the motion for a preliminary injunction as part of its November 2019 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of AB 5, which would prohibit independent drivers from contracting and performing trucking services for licensed motor carriers in California. This preliminary injunction averts any irreparable damage to the 70,000 independent truckers prior to the court hearing on the merits of the case.
“With its decision, the U.S. Southern District Court validates our claim that the implementation of the new classification test could have been detrimental to the long-standing and historical place owner-operators have had in the transportation industry,” said Robert R. Roginson, attorney for CTA.
In the lawsuit, which seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, plaintiffs argue that the Dynamex ruling should not be enforced because it is preempted under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which sets the decision in direct conflict with a federal law passed by Congress in 1994 to prevent states from enacting punitive laws that affect a motor carrier's prices, routes and services of the trucking industry.
A copy of the decision can be found here.