Grove addresses ruling on new state contractor law

California Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove commented on the federal judge from the U.S. Southern District Court, who issued a temporary ruling against enforcing Assembly Bill 5 on independent truck drivers and motor carriers.

The bill prohibits independent contractor status for certain classifications of employees, including truckers. One of the primary criticisms of the bill is that certain industries remained exempt without clear explanation.

The California Trucking Association filed a lawsuit, arguing that many of its members opted to maintain contractor status in order to set their own schedules and otherwise control the profits of owning their own vehicles.

A subsequent hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13.

“It is shameful that the Democrats supported a bill that picked favorites at the expense of other Californians,” said Grove.

“Throughout 2019, Senate Republicans warned that AB 5 would have problems, and we offered viable and comprehensive solutions to help all independent contractors, but Democrats blocked our efforts. Now, the legal challenges are mounting against this job-killing law.”

She said Senate Republicans will continue to advocate for resolution. “Cali-

fornians deserve better and we will continue to fight in the courts and in the Capitol.”

The bill was introduced by the Democratic-controlled legislature in December 2018 and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2019.

“Assembly Bill 5 will harm tens of thousands of independent contractors by making it difficult for them to keep their employment status. Furthermore, AB 5 offers carve-outs to some industries that employ independent contractors and excludes others,” said a spokesperson of Grove’s office.

In two separate challenges, freelance journalists and gig economy companies have filed their own federal lawsuits against AB 5. The Pacific Legal Foundation, representing the American Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Photographers Association, filed a lawsuit last month saying that AB 5 restricts free speech and the media. Uber and Postmates filed their own separate lawsuit stating that AB 5 violates individuals’ constitutional rights and unfairly discriminates against technology platforms.

See also op-ed co-authored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Assemblyman Vince Fong:

Story First Published: 2020-01-17