The Grawe Gazette – General Counsel
Holiday Weekend Quick Hits
By The Grawe Group, LLC, May 2021
A few quick hits before you enjoy the long holiday weekend…
Independent Contractor Status:
- The fight over California’s AB5 is not over. Cal Cartage and the California Trucking Association each have litigation ongoing against the state. Cal Cartage is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge, and the CTA is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear its challenge. We are proud to help the industry fight for owner operator freedoms. We teamed up with Mike Glover, Kay Hunt, and the Lommen Abdo law firm to submit a brief on behalf of the Minnesota Trucking Association and interested carriers in the Cal Cartage case, encouraging the Supreme Court to reject California’s elimination of owner operators.
- On the regulatory front it is reasonable to expect something from the U.S. Department of Labor on independent contractor status, but we can only speculate on the timeline and what exactly the DOL will propose. Stay tuned.
- At the federal legislative level, the PRO Act has not advanced in the U.S. Senate. So long as the filibuster remains in place in its current form the PRO Act likely will not advance.
Lawsuit Abuse Reform:
- As a transportation industry we need to push policymakers to make common sense lawsuit abuse reforms. Carriers should be liable for injuries and damages they cause. That includes paying medical bills, paying lost wages, and even paying some amount of pain and suffering when they cause an accident. But today’s accident litigation has turned carriers into ATM machines for plaintiffs and plaintiff lawyers. We need to bring some balance back to the litigation world. The good thing is many in the industry are stepping up.
- CH Robinson, the Transportation Intermediaries Association, and a number of brokers, carriers, and trade association are urging the Supreme Court to take CH Robinson’s appeal of liability in a motor vehicle accident on a brokered load. If the Supreme Court takes the case and agrees with the industry that federal law pre-empts state laws that try to hold brokers liable for injuries in motor vehicle accidents the entire motor vehicle accident litigation landscape and broker risk exposure analysis changes significantly. This would be a huge win for the industry. Thank you to CH and the many trade associations, brokers, carriers, and lawyers supporting this effort!
- State trade associations and engaged carriers and allied members are also stepping up to push lawsuit abuse reforms at the state level in multiple states around the country. Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, Iowa, and others have either passed positive reforms already, or legislation is active.
- In Minnesota, the Minnesota Trucking Association is beginning a grassroots effort to push for common sense lawsuit abuse reform as well.
- If you want to discuss specific lawsuit abuse reform legislation and talking points for policymakers contact us.
- Driver recruiting and retention arguably has never been a hotter topic than it is today, and rightfully so. But we also should talk about recruiting office employees. The challenge of attracting and retaining quality office teammates is rising fast. We kick off a 3-episode series on the office staff pipeline in our next Grawe Pod, available now. Episode 1 starts the discussion with a look at the college recruiting world. Episode 2 will dive into recruiting experienced teammates, and episode 3 will highlight best practices for training and developing your own internal pipeline.
If you have any questions about your people pipeline challenges, or if you need interim help while you look for a permanent staff solution, call us. We are here to help.
The Grawe Group, LLC is a professional services firm focused on the transportation and logistics industry. With a team of experienced executives, we provide general counsel services, business consulting, and managed professional services for the industry. From legal and risk management matters, to operational, financial, and executive challenges, the Grawe Group has the consulting, management, and legal expertise in trucking and logistics to help you build sustainable success. www.thegrawegroup.com.
Check out the Grawe Pod, transportation’s general counsel podcast, for discussions on challenges industry leaders face in their business and how to address them.