Calif.'s independent contractor rule heads to Supreme Court

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021:

CTA files AB 5 appeal with Supreme Court

The California Trucking Association on Monday, Aug. 9, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari before the United States Supreme Court in CTA’s continuing litigation against California’s AB 5.

If SCOTUS chooses to hear the case, the injunction will be stayed until the Supreme Court’s disposition of the case. If SCOTUS declines to hear the case, the injunction will be lifted immediately. The Supreme Court usually takes about six weeks to decide whether or not to hear a case. There is then a period of about 80 days in which the parties in the case file briefs with the court before the case is heard.

“We believe the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) prohibits a state statute such as California’s AB 5 that clearly abolishes the historic role within the trucking industry of independent owner-operators,” said CTA CEO Shawn Yadon.

Yadon added that there are more than 70,000 owner-operators in the state that could suffer “irreparable damage” if AB 5 is applied to the trucking industry.

“It is our hope the United States Supreme Court will take up this urgent matter of national significance and we are asking the country’s highest court to fully consider the question of FAAAA preemption of the ‘all or nothing’ ABC test and resolve the circuit conflicts that exist on this issue.”

In April, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the problematic ABC test within AB 5 for determining independent contractor status in California should apply to the trucking industry, essentially banning the leased owner-operator model in the state. The court denied a request for a rehearing in June, then granted a stay to CTA to keep trucking’s exemption from the law in place until the case plays out in the U.S. Supreme Court.

TCA seeking new leadership as president set to retire next year

Truckload Carriers Association President John Lyboldt will retire next year, effective April 1, 2022, and the organization has formed a search committee to find his replacement. TCA has also contracted with an outside consultant who has worked in the industry for nearly four decades to coordinate a nationwide search.

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TCA President John Lyboldt plans to retire April 1, 2022.TCA President John Lyboldt plans to retire April 1, 2022.“John has been instrumental in growing both TCA’s membership and the number of programs and services we provide to our members,” said TCA Chairman and D.M. Bowman, Inc. President Jim Ward. “He led our efforts to strengthen TCA’s role as the principal advocate for truckload carriers on Capitol Hill while continuing our focus on safety, carrier education, and TCA’s highly regarded driver recognition programs.”

The search committee has laid out a process and timeline for the recruitment effort and plans to issue a progress report during the upcoming TCA annual convention, Truckload 2021: Las Vegas, set for Sept. 25-28. Its goal is to have the new TCA president onboard by the first of the year and to begin the staff leadership transition at that time.

TCA’s Board appointed Lyboldt president in December 2015, and during his 5.5 years of leadership, the association has grown to an all-time high record number of members, including a 6% year-to-date gain. Today, TCA carrier members operate a combined 210,000 trucks and represent over $38 billion in annual truckload revenue.

Mode Global acquiring New Jersey-based 3PL

Mode Global announced Tuesday it has completed the acquisition of Rochelle Park, New Jersey-based RR&F Logistics, which offers full-service transportation services throughout North America. Following the acquisition, Mode Global will now facilitate more than 1.5 million annual customer shipments and generate almost $3 billion of revenue.

Mode offers a broad range of capabilities across all major modes of transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, rail intermodal, drayage, air, ocean and parcel freight. The company will leverage its increased scale and resources to continue investing in technology and innovation for the benefit of its agent, shipper and carrier communities.