President Joe Biden announced earlier this week that he was nominating Julie Su to lead the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association on Friday, March 3, wrote a letter to all Senate offices, expressing concern about the nomination. Su previously served as California’s labor secretary and supported the state’s controversial AB5 law, which makes it nearly impossible for leased-on employees to be considered independent contractors.
“Her record as California Labor Commissioner and Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, including her support for AB5 and overseeing its disastrous implementation, demonstrates she would pursue policies that threaten our members’ ability to use a business model they have properly and beneficially used for decades,” the Association wrote in a letter signed by OOIDA President Todd Spencer.
OOIDA, which is currently fighting California’s AB5 in court, said Su’s stance on the law demonstrates either an ignorance of the owner-operator model in trucking or an overly broad generalization of how different workers operate as independent contractors. OOIDA said the law and “haphazard” rollout forced independent contractor truckers to either leave the state, become an employee, attempt to reconfigure their business or abandon the profession.
“We are concerned that Ms. Su would continue to pursue an ideologically motivated agenda toward worker classification that ignores the thousands of small-business truckers who depend on the ability to work as an independent contractor,” OOIDA wrote. “Make no mistake, if Ms. Su were to advance the same policies that she championed in California, it would force hundreds of thousands of truckers to change their business model and put their livelihood in jeopardy.”
This past fall, the U.S. Department of Labor released a notice of proposed rulemaking on worker classification.
OOIDA is concerned that if Su is confirmed she could take the proposal in the wrong direction.
“There is potential for this rule to make some improvements to worker classification on the federal level, but if Ms. Su is confirmed to lead the department, we fear that we will see a repeat of what’s happened in California,” OOIDA wrote. LL