Carriers fight Oregon court decision classifying owner-ops as employees

Updated Apr 3, 2015
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Trucking associations have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a carrier appealing an Oregon decision that classified its owner-operators as employees.

The American Trucking Associations and the Truck Renting and Leasing Association filed a joint amicus brief in the case of CEVA Freight v. the Oregon Employment Department. On Aug. 26, Judge James Han “essentially ruled that owner-operators who had voluntarily leased themselves to CEVA Freight were employees, and not independent contractors,” TRALA said.

If Oregon’s appeals court does not overturn the administrative law judge’s decision, CEVA and other companies using the same business model will have to pay state unemployment tax on owner-operators.

The carrier groups say the ruling misinterpreted customer-set delivery rules and a carrier’s compliance with government regulation as among the factors establishing an employer-employee relationship. Also, a significant driver shortage provides truckers ample option to becoming an employee driver instead of an owner-operator, the March 9 brief stated.

Further case information was not immediately available.