California law impacting truck drivers will lead to more supply chain issues, Nevada Trucking Association CEO says

Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 11:37 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A California law could slow down your deliveries by taking thousands of truck drivers off the road, according to trucking industry leaders.

The 2019 California AB-5 adds regulations for independent contractors. The trucking industry received a temporary injunction that was not extended by the courts in June.

“It’s bills like this that can do tremendous harm to the trucking industry, which then has a ripple impact throughout the entire supply chain,” Nevada Trucking Association CEO Paul Enos said.

The California law was intended to protect contract workers to ensure things like overtime pay, unemployment, and insurance. However, Enos said it will lead to truck drivers quitting in an industry that’s 80,000 drivers short and already predicted to get worse in the coming years.

The majority of truck drivers are independent operators. There are about 70,000 in California alone. Enos said many of the independent operators don’t want to go through the hurdles and costs of the new regulations and don’t want to become employees of another business.

“That ability to go out there to achieve the American dream to own and operate your own business and to be in control of your own time,” Enos said.

Backlogs at California ports have caused major issues during the e-commerce boom of the pandemic, and fewer truck drivers mean more delays in getting products to places like Las Vegas.

“Trucks deliver everything, and whenever we put challenges or squeezes on that supply chain or truck drivers it’s going to have challenges. It’s going to have a downstream impact,” Enos said.

Enos said independent operators should start looking into what they can do to comply with the new law.

He said the law includes independent operators from other states, like Nevada, that drive into the Golden State.

The trucking industry will challenge the law again in a California district court in August. In the meantime, it’s unclear how or if it will be enforced.

Enos said a similar law didn’t pass through the Nevada legislature but believes it could be brought up again.