Judge Orders Emergency Halt of AB 5 for Truck Drivers
Judge Orders Emergency Halt of AB 5 for Truck Drivers

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday, December 31st, to halt enforcement of California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), regarding truck drivers, only hours before the law went into effect on January 1, 2020.  AB 5, often referred to as the gig worker law, codifies and expands the “ABC” test set forth in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court, making it much harder for companies to claim workers are independent contractors.

Although AB 5 exempts a number of professions and services from the ABC test, truck drivers are not included among the exemptions. The California National Trucking Association sued, asking the court to declare that the test does not apply to the trucking industry, based on preemption by federal law prohibiting states from making laws that impact certain aspects of freight-hauling motor carriers.  

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez agreed that the California National Trucking Association met its burden for emergency relief by showing “they were likely to succeed on the merits” of their claim, and would “suffer irreparable harm” if not given relief. A hearing on the group’s request for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for January 13th.

Other organizations, including food delivery providers, rideshare companies and freelance journalist groups, have also filed suit to challenge AB 5, and numerous companies have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a ballot initiative that would offer an alternative model for gig economy workers. 



The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Joanne Warriner.

This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary, people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2020. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.

If you have any questions about this article, contact the writer directly, assuming he or she was brave enough to attach their name to it. If you have any questions regarding this blog or your life in general, contact Kelly O. Scott, Esq., commander in chief of this blog and Head Honcho (official legal title) of ECJ’s Employment Law Department.



Tags: AB 5, ABC Test

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