As previously reported by NT Lakis, last year the California legislature approved and the Governor signed a number of significant workplace compliance laws that were set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. Two of the most controversial of these laws are AB 51, which prohibits mandatory arbitration agreements for most employment-related claims, and AB 5, which imposes the so-called “ABC” test making it much harder for state employers to classify workers as independent contractors.

As expected, both of these laws were immediately challenged in federal court, and in the final days of 2019, the courts issued preliminary rulings in two of these cases, either fully or partially blocking the implementation of AB 51 and AB 5 while the lawsuits proceed.

More specifically, on December 30, 2019, a California federal district court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in Chamber of Commerce v. Becerra, No. 2:19-cv-02456 (E.D. Cal.), preventing AB 51 from going into effect while the court considers whether to issue a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the new law until the challenge is considered on the merits. Oral argument on the motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for January 10, 2020.

On December 31, 2019, a different California federal district court in California Trucking Association v. Becerra, No. 3:18-cv-03458 (S.D. Cal.), issued a TRO preventing the state from enforcing AB 5 with respect to any motor carrier – including trucking companies – until the court considers the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction.3 The court has scheduled a hearing on the preliminary injunction motion for January 13, 2020.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.