The challenge of AB5

June 30, 2021

SJ Munoz


California’s AB5 and the many challenges it creates were discussed on the June 30 “Live From Exit 24.”

OOIDA Director of Legislative Affairs Bryce Mongeon, Land Line Senior Editor Mark Schremmer and Paul Cullen Jr. of the Cullen Law Firm joined host Mike Matousek for an hourlong conversation.

Due to an injunction, the trucking industry remains exempt, but for how long?

Mongeon addressed the political considerations, push by unions and increased state revenue directly tied to AB5. Additionally, there is currently a business-to-business exemption, so long as specific criteria are met and proven with documentation.

Listen to ‘Live From Exit 24’

As the legal process plays out, Cullen, whose firm has filed two briefs on OOIDA’s behalf, says it’s important to remember the injunction is still in place.

“Owner-operators are directly affected by this so our firm has helped OOIDA get involved at the appeal and trial court level,” Cullen said. “It’s important to note the injunction is still in place until Supreme Court review. Drivers should not expect any enforcement until the Supreme Court decides whether it will hear the case, which will probably be sometime in September.”

Misclassification issues persist, according to many on the road that Schremmer said he has spoken with, but AB5 doesn’t appear to be the solution to this problem.

“If you’re a leased owner-operator and feel like you have control and have your own business, why would you want this?” Schremmer said. “There are certainly people out there that believe misclassification is a problem, but there aren’t many truckers who think this is a fair way to go about it.”

The level of uncertainty creates another layer.

“We haven’t been able to get any straight answers from the state on how AB5 would be enforced or interpreted,” said Mongeon. “This is potentially an enormous issue, and we think we will see significant changes for the owner-operator as we know it, should this legislation go into effect.”

Despite their resiliency, Schremmer echoed the idea that too much remains unknown.

“Owner-operators are very persistent people, and they will find a way,” Schremmer said. “It’s scary because there are so many unknowns. How will they look at these three prongs (of the classification test)? And how will they enforce it? There are more questions than there are answers at this point.”

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how this process plays out, there won’t be any resolution until the current litigation ends, Cullen said.

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, July 14.


“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. Help guide what’s addressed during the program. The survey is here. LL