California’s AB5 has made for the kind of articles media outlets dream about.
As it’s been litigated over the past couple of years, we’ve seen unions jostle with lobbyists, spirited protests slow commerce (see last month’s blockade at the Port of Oakland) and a larger ideological showdown that pits ideals of workers’ rights against the flexible labor that gig economy proponents say is a feature, not a bug.
Amid the rancor, a lot of uncertainty still surrounds AB5: uncertainty about what it means and to whom it applies as well as about how it will even be enforced.
Essentially, the bill requires that many companies using independent contractors reclassify those workers as employees, which in the trucking world could have industry-shifting implications.
In a recent survey, FreightWaves asked carriers what they thought about AB5.
We left the survey open from July 21 to Aug. 1, and 171 people completed it. Respondents were not asked to identify themselves or their company.
The survey found that some respondents view the bill as an existential threat to the current way American supply chains function. To others, it’s a necessary legislative step to prevent companies from taking advantage of workers.