OAKLAND, Calif. — A California judge has declined to grant a temporary restraining order (TRO) sought by the city of Oakland and port commissioners against several truck drivers following their weeklong protest by over the state’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5).
AB5, also known as the “gig economy” law, passed in 2019 and makes it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, who are entitled to minimum wage and benefits such as workers compensation, overtime and sick pay.
A federal appeals court ruled last year that the law applies to some 70,000 California truck drivers who can be classified as employees of companies that hire them instead of independent contractors.
There’s been some confusion on when the state might begin enforcing the law against truckers.
Truckers are now asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to meet and discuss the issue.
Truckers who are being sued are claiming the decision by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Delbert Gee as a “small victory.”
While the court date in the Oakland port case was originally set for Sept. 26 to hear the City of Oakland and port officials’ complaint for injunctive relief and the TRO, it was moved up three weeks and rescheduled for Aug. 1.
FreightWaves reported that Robert Bernardo, director of communications for the Port of Oakland, confirmed that the court needed more time for review before making a final decision.
The suit from the city and port commissioners says that the port and the public “are suffering irreparable damage as the result of a loosely organized group of independent owner-operator trucks, led by the defendants and those acting in concert with the defendants, who have unlawfully blockaded access to international maritime cargo shipping portals at the port for several days.”
While some truckers protested on July 25 inside the designated “safe protest areas,” drayage companies that serve the port reported none of the protesters blocked terminal gates or prevented trucks from entering or exiting the port.
The Oakland Police Department also said that no truckers were cited during the weeklong protest, which began on July 18.
Drayage companies at the port said that four marine terminals canceled work shifts on two different days ahead of knowing if protesters were going to be back instead of being a response to “safety risks” as alleged in court documents by Desmond DeMoss, safety and business continuity officer for the Port of Oakland.
Gee didn’t state when he would issue his ruling.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.