​​​USDA Grain Transportation Report (7/14): ​California Legislators Ask Governor to Exempt Truckers From New Law

In a letter on July 5, a group of California legislators asked Gov. Gavin Newsome to “take any means within [his] authority” to delay implementing Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) or to exempt truckers from the law.

Truck drivers must be exempted to protect their critical role in the supply chain, the lawmakers argued.

AB5 took effect on July 1 following three years of appeals, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the California Trucking Association’s petition.

The new law requires employers to prove workers are independent contractors, rather than direct employees, and the law could result in a reclassification of all owner-operators within the state.

The trucking and agricultural industries are concerned that AB5 could force California’s 70,000 independent truck owner-operators to stop driving.

The industries also believe a sudden decline in available drivers would compound the state’s ongoing supply-chain backlogs and reduce needed drayage capacity in the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland.

This article comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) July 14, 2022, Grain Transportation Report.