Time for operators to ‘tell their story’: Nationalized ABC test would ice trucking’s independent contractor model

March 8, 2021

A bill making its way through the U.S. House would follow in the footsteps of California’s A.B. 5 law, passed in late 2019 and codifying a prior court decision, by severely curtailing the ability of leased owner-operators to haul freight for larger motor carriers.

The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021, in addition to other broad reforms to the nation’s labor laws, would institute the so-called ABC test for determining whether a business can contract work to an independent contractor. In the case of trucking, that means a motor carrier contracting loads to a truck driver, often via the common leased owner-operator model, in which a driver owns their own truck and business and runs under the authority of a larger carrier. The PRO Act was introduced in early February in both chambers of Congress.