California’s legislature approved and the governor signed Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) which will put a wide-sweeping end to the use of independent contractors in most industries, including trucking, effective January 1, 2020.
Lawmakers, eager to get their hands on additional payroll taxes, ignore the fact that people choose independence. They choose the flexibility to work when they want. They choose the freedom to do the type of hauls they want. They chose the fluidity to work where they want, including contracting with several different companies.
AB5 essentially puts these entrepreneurs out of business. To keep rolling, their choice is going to be very different…become an employee or leave the state.
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As one opinion writer put it, “Independent trucking was once the road to prosperity. But like so many roads in California, the government has left it in ruins.”
Challenges are already piling up against AB5. Uber and Lyft are planning a ballot initiative, and the California Trucking Association (CTA) is planning litigation.
Meanwhile, on the federal level, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ruled the claim of misclassifying drivers as independent contractors is not violating federal law. Claimants must prove an actual violation of law.