For the truckers in California waiting with bated breath for word on their fate as independent contractors, you gotta keep waiting. No news out of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) might actually be good news. Why? Because the injunction that keeps AB5 from activating stays in play.
John Kingston, FreightWaves’ Oil and Gas Market Expert, released an article noting that the AB5 case was not part of the released “orders” on Monday. That is the list that SCOTUS releases for cases they grant or deny “certiorari,” or notification they will hear a case.
Are we getting a response today?
Right now, AB5 is still in limbo. It is currently under the January 2020 injunction granted by the Appellate Court in California, which halted the law from taking effect. That injunction was overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2021.
A “Hail Mary” was thrown by the California Trucking Association (CTA), taking its case to the U.S. Supreme Court as part of a final effort to overturn the rule. Legal pundits say that the case not appearing on the calendar could mean SCOTUS refused to hear the case, as they did for the Cal Cartage case back in October 2021. Word should be out soon if that was the case.
Another possibility, and one the truckers want to hear, is that the Supreme Court justices need more time to consider, and will move the case to the October 2022/2023 term. That would lock AB5 down until then, buying more time for CTA to gather allies and for its lobbyists to work.
What will AB5 affect outside trucking?
The effect that AB5 will have on not just the trucking industry, but all independent contractors in general, will be Earth-shattering. Many think 1099-paid independent contractors will slowly become extinct not only in California, but could spread to other states that are governed by liberals.
Not only would it affect truckers, it would also affect anyone in the gig economy that works for themselves and not another company. It would also harm companies, since they would have to add many employees (and all the added taxes and fees that go with them).
Back The Truck Up and FreightWaves are monitoring this situation closely and will update if anything changes. You can follow the case at the official SCOTUS docket linked here.