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Posts tagged "transportation law"

Will Uber and Lyft Change California's Labor Market?

The effort to define who is an employee and who is an independent contractor has been an ongoing battle in California, particularly since the Dynamex decision that came down from the California Supreme Court last April. While the full impact of the decision in the courts is still being seen, it is no surprise that the issue is now being taken up by California's legislative branch as well.

House Bill Takes Aim at FMCSA Pre-Emption

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.

Disappointing IPOs Could Mean Big Changes from Gig Economy on Out

After Lyft's rocky IPO, Uber hoped for better but found itself in just as much difficulty after recently going public. Unfortunately for the company, the trouble didn't stop there as Uber then posted a billion dollar quarterly loss.

California Court Demonstrates Impact of FMCSA Preemption Decision

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.

FedEx Looks to Shake Up Delivery Industry

As discussed previously on this blog, the transportation market is rapidly evolving both in terms of the laws governing it and in the nature of the business itself. Now, FedEx is looking to bring the next innovation along as it announced plans for last-minute robot delivery for companies such as Pizza Hut and Walmart.

Beyond California, Litigation in Other States Could Also Upend the Trucking Industry

In California, the ongoing litigation around the definition of an employee versus independent contractor and the rules for meal and rest breaks threaten to upend the trucking industry. While these issues are understandably garnering significant attention, there are others across the country that could also have a large impact. Currently, a case in Arkansas may leave the industry forced to undergo massive change.

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Trucking Companies Seeking Arbitration

In a recent Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") decision, the United States Supreme Court unanimously made getting to arbitration more difficult for trucking companies. In Oliveira v. New Prime, the Supreme Court determined that it was for a court, not an arbitrator, to decide if the exemption in Section 1 of the FAA applies. More importantly for truckers, the Court decided that the Section 1 exemption applied to all truck drivers, whether employees or independent contractors. This means the FAA cannot be used to compel arbitration of claims involving truck drivers.

New Labor Commissioner Decision Demonstrates Continuing Attacks on Independent Contractor Truck Driver Model

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.

The California Trucking Association Files Its Case Against Dynamex

As discussed previously on this blog, the Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court decision upended California's independent contractor market with a new test for whether a worker will be considered an employee. The new test was particularly problematic for the trucking industry. As such, several cases have arisen to challenge the Dynamex decision. The Western States Trucking Association (WTSA) challenged the case. Additionally, a recent California District Court decision determined federal law pre-empts Dynamex. Of course, there is a still a long way to go before Dynamex's fate is decided.

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