In all my years in the transportation industry, I see that the majority of the drivers are considered Independent Contractors, which serves well to both contractor and employee; they don’t have to comply with California Wage Orders.
The California Supreme Court issued a ruling No. S222732, in which the Court chose to, essentially, terminate the nearly 25 year old test for determining whether a worker was an employee or an independent contractor for claims asserted under California Wage Orders.
Trucking Companies that were in compliance with the law before April 30 2018 are probably acting illegally today. The ruling is so broad and sweeping, that if you are a motor carrier and you hired a truck driver, that truck driver is your employee. No exceptions.
Maybe you want to know what this means, Look at the following points set by the court:
- They own their own equipment: doesn’t matter.
- They have been working as an Owner-Operator for a long time: it doesn’t matter.
- They can accept or reject loads as they please: doesn’t matter.
- They can drive for other companies whenever they want to: doesn’t matter.
- They are responsible for their insurance, maintenance, and fuel: doesn’t matter.
- They are paid on load per load basis, with no guarantee of a minimum number of loads: doesn’t matter, even if the driver only hauls one load and you never work with him again, that driver was your employee for that one load.
- They have their own authority: doesn’t matter, if the driver is using your authority to haul that load.
- They are a corporation or LLC: doesn’t matter, whoever is in the driver seat is your employee.
- The driver is a professional truck driver who saw an opportunity to make money in trucking, and went out to purchased a truck: doesn’t matter
- The owner operators can enjoy profits or suffer losses depending on how efficient he or she works: doesn’t matter.
- The owner operator wants to be independent contractor: doesn’t matter. What the driver wants is not relevant.
- The Owner Operator and Motor Carrier have in place a written contract where they refer to each other as an independent: doesn’t matter.
Base on all the above, the burden is on the business to prove that a worker is an independent contractor rather than an employee. Otherwise the worker will be presumed to be employee.