As covered on this blog, California has been taking steps to limit the classification of workers as independent contractors. While this has taken on different forms, including the monumental Dynamex decision, the state legislature recently finalized its own measure with the passage of AB 5 to codify the ABC test set forth in Dynamex. The passage of the bill largely overhauls employment law across the state.
As discussed here, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") has set up its own rules for rest breaks for safety purposes that pre-empt those of the states. That became very clear when the FMCSA issued its determination that federal regulations pre-empted California's meal and rest break rules. However, as the challenges to the FMCSA pre-emption determinatin winds its way through the courts, the House of Representatives wants to step in to handle the situation.
As discussed on this blog, late last year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") determined that California's Meal and Rest Break rules are pre-empted by federal law, as applied to property-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers covered by the FMCSA's Hours of Service regulations. Less than five months later, the implications of this are being seen in court.
As discussed on this blog recently, gig economy companies have been changing the face of employment with more and more people being employed and impacted by the rising industry. On March 29, Lyft added to this evolving story with its successful trading debut.
It is entirely common for employers to seek consumer reports and background checks on prospective and current employees. However, the law governing how the employer can go about this can be tricky, and if done wrong leads to a massive legal nightmare. The most recent example of this is Gilberg v. Cal. Check Cashing Stores, LLC.
As discussed previously on this blog, recent legal developments have complicated the business plans of trucking companies that use independent contractors as drivers. These have included the Dynamex decision that changed the 30-year-old test of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, but appears applicable only in certain circumstances and for only certain legal claims. This was followed by lawsuits to invalidate Dynamex and a federal district court decision finding that Dynamex was pre-empted by federal law. Compounding this confusion, California passed a law late last year that exposed large retailers to new potential liability. The bill, SB 1402, meant companies could be jointly liable when they hire companies that have violated state employment laws. Now shippers could be liable for violations caused by the motor carriers they hire.
In its last term, the United States Supreme Court began revamping employee arbitration rights, particularly with respect to class actions. With the current term under way, the Supreme Court has cases in front of it that could further alter these rights.
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed SB 1402, which quickly has shippers, particularly larger retailers, facing new levels of potential liability. The bill means retailers will now be held jointly liable when the trucking companies they hire for port drayage services violate state employment laws.
When Uber entered the market, it began to revolutionize transportation. However, along the way it has faced obstacles that in many instances have found Uber in court. One major issue it's facing is the claim by drivers that they are improperly treated by Uber as independent contractors rather than employees.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced a renewed effort to limit liability for companies with workers that are not engaged specifically by the company. A new proposed rule would protect companies from lawsuits by persons hired by contractors or franchisees.