The California Trucking Association on Jan. 11 filed a new request for a preliminary injunction against the state of California’s AB 5 independent contractor law. The request was filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of California, the same court and judge, Roger Benitez, that handed down a temporary injunction on New Year’s Eve 2019.
The original injunction was ultimately lifted after the US Supreme Court declined to hear the case. While that injunction had been based on claims that AB 5 violates the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act, the subsequent court proceedings focused on the injunction itself, so the FAAA argument was never addressed.
The CTA’s request for a new injunction maintains AB 5 violates the FAAA. It also echoes the request for an injunction filed last month by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which focused on OOIDA’s belief that AB 5 violates the Dormant Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, which restricts state action that can impact interstate commerce. (OOIDA is an intervenor in the case on the side of the CTA.) The third part of the CTA’s request argues that AB 5 should be blocked from state regulation of trucking because of “implied preemption” and how much a state can do in regulating activity also governed by extensive federal regulation.
In addition, much of the request for an injunction is spent telling human stories, not as an emotional tug but to argue that AB 5 will fail in the state’s trucking sector — and cause concurrent economic harm with an impact on “prices, routes or services” — because independent drivers have no desire to be employees, according to FreightWaves.
A hearing is scheduled for May 1 at the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.