Truckers sue California, say new gig economy law would kill 70,000 jobs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Trucking Association on Tuesday filed what appears to be the first lawsuit challenging a sweeping new labor law that seeks to give wage and benefit protections to workers in the so-called gig economy, including rideshare drivers at companies such as Uber and Lyft.

The legislation violates federal law and would deprive more than 70,000 independent truckers of their ability to work, the association said. Many would have to abandon $150,000 investments in clean trucks and the right to set their own schedules in order for companies to comply with a law it says illegally infringes on interstate commerce.

“Independent truckers are typically experienced drivers who have previously worked as employees and have, by choice, struck out on their own. We should not deprive them of that choice,” association CEO Shawn Yadon said in a statement.

The law set to take effect Jan. 1 makes it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, who are entitled to minimum wage and benefits such as workers compensation.

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