The US Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court finding that a federal law limiting state regulation of the trucking industry does not preempt New Jersey’s wage-and-hour law.
In February, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act of 1994 does not preempt New Jersey’s wage-and-hour laws, permitting delivery drivers to continue with a suit claiming they were misclassified as independent contractors.
The case, Bedoya v. American Eagle Express Inc., involves couriers who delivered medicines and pharmaceutical scripts for American Eagle Express Inc. within New Jersey. They argue they were misclassified as contractors and are seeking damages in excess of $5.0 million. However, American Eagle argued that it is a “motor carrier” and that the federal law supersedes the state’s ABC law.
The US Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Monday. Motor carriers located in states within the Third Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) will need to ensure their relationships with drivers classified as independent contractors satisfy the so-called “ABC” test. Attorneys with Littler Mendelson PC wrote about the initial Third Circuit ruling here.