CCJ Daily Dispatch, May 20: More trucking groups join legal battle against Calif. contractor law

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Updated May 21, 2020

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, May 20, 2020: 

ATA, WSTA, others join fight against California’s A.B. 5 contractor law
A group of trucking organizations and carriers have filed briefs in support of the California Trucking Association’s lawsuit against California’s A.B. 5 law that challenged the owner-operator model in California.

There were six separate amicus briefs filed to the court last week in support of CTA’s lawsuit. An amicus brief is a legal document filed in appellate court cases filed by parties that are not part of the case with strong interest in the subject matter. Those who filed briefs were:

  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
  • American Trucking Associations
  • Western States Trucking Association
  • American Dream Coalition
  • Cal Cartage Transportation Express and K&R Transportation California
  • American Chemistry Council, Consumer Brands Association, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, National Industrial Transportation League, National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council, and the Fertilizer Institute

CTA sued the state in November over the law, which enacted the so-called ABC test for determining whether a worker is an employee or a contractor. Most difficult for trucking, the B-prong of the ABC test prevents employers from contracting with workers that perform the same work as the business itself, which effectively limited carriers from leasing owner-operators to haul freight under traditional owner-operator agreements. Joining them in the lawsuit were two independent owner-operators, Ravinder Singh and Thomas Odom.

Judge Roger Benitez, of U.S. District Court in Southern California, issued a last-minute restraining order Dec. 31 to temporarily block enforcement of A.B. 5 on trucking before it took effect on Jan. 1. He then heard arguments on Jan. 13, from both sides of the case as to whether he should issue a longer injunction against the law until the lawsuit can be heard and adjudicated. A few days later, he sided with CTA, Singh and Odom, granting their request to put a stay of enforcement on the law pending the ongoing lawsuit.

Lytx gets waiver to mount tech lower on windshields
Lytx has received a five-year waiver to allow its advanced driver assistance systems to be mounted lower on windshields than what is allowed in federal regulations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the lower mounting will have no adverse impacts on safety.

Lytx filed the request in December, petitioning to allow its ADAS to be mounted in the center of the top of the windshield where the bottom edge of the camera housing would be approximately eight inches below the upper edge of the windshield, but still outside of drivers’ sight lines. Federal regulations require any windshield-mounted devices to be no more than six inches below the upper edge of the windshield.

The company said that without the waiver, its customers would not be able to install the devices in a position that would maximize their effectiveness.

EchoDrive Preferred customers now receive TruckPark discounts
A new partnership between transportation management service Echo Global Logistics and TruckPark now allows EchoDrive preferred members to access TruckPark’s network of overnight truck parking resources at a discounted rate.

EchoDrive Preferred gives carriers real-time access to search, bid, manage, track and get paid on freight hauled for Echo.

The partnership includes a 25% discount on TruckPark for company drivers and carriers with six or more trucks, and 50% off for owner-operator fleets of one to five trucks. TruckPark allows drivers to search for secure parking locations across the U.S.