Some California truckers exit state before AB5 labor law takes effect


Published by iTrucker at 31 Dec

Some California truckers exit state before AB5 labor law takes effect

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Story by: Clarissa Hawes


Some California truckers weigh options before AB5 labor law takes effect on Jan. 1.

After 43 years in California, truck drivers Brian Gray and his wife, Karol, packed up their belongings and headed to Oklahoma in early December after news that the new sweeping labor law, AB5, was set to take effect on Jan. 1.

“I once made a good living in California, but it’s all gone,” Brian Gray told FreightWaves. “I am tired of being persecuted in California for being a truck driver.”

With AB5, which seeks to limit the use of independent contractors, scheduled to become law, Gray said he headed to Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, to scout out some land and find a “business-friendly” state to house his flatbed company that hauls construction equipment.

“We bought a piece of ground in Oklahoma, but we hate to leave California,” he said. “I was always known as the ‘go-to guy’ in California and my mom and dad, brothers, nieces, everybody, still lives here, but I can’t afford to wait and see what happens in January and possibly lose everything.”

California-based truckers Brian and Karol Gray packed up all of their belongings and dogs and moved to Oklahoma ahead of AB5.

Photo: Betty Plowman

California-based owner-operators said they are being advised to move out of the state, get their own authority, which can be costly, or transition to positions as company drivers, in some cases, as the Employee and Independent Contractors law, AB5, goes into effect.

The state law determines whether a worker is an employee or contractor. It stems from the California Supreme Court’s decision against Dynamex Operations West Inc., a package and document delivery company. The court found that Dynamex misclassified its delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees and that all California-based companies that use independent contractors must use the “ABC test,” a three-pronged test to determine whether a worker is an employee.

Trucking companies must prove a worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work; the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.

Just days before the Jan. 1 deadline, the California Trucking Association, which has filed legal challenges against AB5, said it is receiving “daily calls from owner-operators being told they can no longer operate in California.”

“We know AB5’s impacts are already being felt,” Chris Shimoda, vice president of government affairs for CTA, told FreightWaves on Dec. 30.

The CTA filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the implementation of AB5 on Dec. 24, and a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6. Shimoda said a second hearing is set for Jan. 13 on a preliminary injunction motion the organization filed in early December to block AB5.

Some California-based truckers are unsure what advice to follow ahead of the AB5 implementation, as some mega-carriers cut ties with independent California drivers in mid-November.

“Unless the court grants the temporary restraining order and, ultimately, a preliminary injunction, AB5 is the enforceable law of the land and independent truckers will continue to be driven from California,” Shimoda said.

Just one day before AB5 is set to take effect, Jeff Fink and his wife, Elyse, of Victorville, California, have narrowed their relocation search to three cities in Tennessee.

Read the full story HERE @

Source and credits: / Clarissa Hawes /  iTrucker  / Mario Pawlowski 




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