A ruling provides a helpful roadmap for defending class certification in independent contractor misclassification claims. Meanwhile, California truckers lose their fight against AB 5.
Roadmap. A recent Ninth Circuit ruling may provide businesses with a helpful roadmap for defending class certification in independent contractor misclassification claims, under both federal and California law.
In Bowerman v. Field Asset Services Inc., the court reversed class certification of 156 property preservation vendors, ruling that the “predominance” requirement for a Rule 23 class was not satisfied. Attorneys with BakerHostetler wrote of four key takeaways for businesses that use independent contractors.
SCOTUS declines truckers’ AB 5 case. The US Supreme Court declined to hear the California Trucking Association’s lawsuit that claimed the state’s AB 5 legislation violates federal law.
The California Trucking Association and two California independent owner-operator truck drivers argued that the “ABC” classification test set forth in the Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court decision — and codified by AB 5 — violates federal law because it is preempted by the supremacy and commerce clauses in the US Constitution and is in direct conflict with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act and the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (F4A).
In April 2021, the ninth circuit ruled against the association, saying truck drivers in California should be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. With the Supreme Court’s refusal to take the case, the ninth circuit’s ruling stands, leaving some 70,000 owner-operators in legal limbo, Bloomberg reported.