‘Live From Exit 24’ covers the PRO Act
March 24, 2021
•Land Line Staff
Even for informed parties, the PRO Act, opposed by OOIDA, brings with it an unsettling amount of confusion.
On the March 24 “Live From Exit 24,” host Mike Matousek, OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh, OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Bryce Mongeon and Greg Reed of the Cullen Law Firm, broke down the complexities of this legislation.
“It gets complicated depending on specific situations,” Mongeon said. “The big message is that this is just far too broad to account for all the complexities.”
The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2021 would implement California’s ABC Test to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. It also includes union-friendly changes for union elections, bargaining processes, and other policies. The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month.
The phone lines lit up throughout the hourlong talk show with an array of questions regarding tax issues, effective dates, potential fines, exceptions, state versus federal law, misclassifications, workers’ compensation, and more.
Listen to ‘Live From Exit 24’
“The PRO Act creates a very rigid standard to determine an employer or an independent contractor,” Reed said. “This is some of the most sweeping reform since the 1930s. Maybe there is some hope that the owner-operator gets their own authority.”
Drivers getting their own authority was strongly tied to this discussion.
“There is a lot of unknown and confusion with this,” Pugh said. “Trucking is a diverse business and one size does not fit all. Somewhere in trucking we got to the point where you never really made it until you got your own authority. You can’t say one model is better than another, but one of the fears I have is what’s going to happen when we make everybody become a motor carrier?”
And there’s AB5 in California, which can affect drivers even if they’re not based there, further complicating the matter.
“AB5 does have a business-to-business exception, but you have to meet all 13 factors,” Reed said. “It’s a demanding standard and might be an elusive promise.”
The PRO Act have moved to the Senate, but OOIDA does not anticipate it being passed into law, according to Mongeon.
“It seems unlikely that it would become law at this point,” Mongeon said. “A lot would have to happen, but we are still taking this very seriously and educating members. We’re not treating it as a foregone conclusion.
OOIDA talk show
“Live From Exit 24” is scheduled for 11 a.m. Central every other Wednesday. Listeners can tune in to the show on the Live From Exit 24 website, OOIDA Facebook page or on OOIDA’s YouTube channel. The next episode airs Wednesday, April 7.
“Live From Exit 24” launched as a way to expand OOIDA’s communication with members and to hear directly from drivers across the industry. OOIDA is asking for truck drivers to fill out a survey to let the Association know how you are liking the show so far. The survey is here. LL