POLA Employee-Driver Mandate Struck Down

A federal court of appeals on Monday struck down the employee-driver mandate in the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) clean-truck program. The verdict was a huge victory for the American Trucking Association (ATA), which has been appealing and fighting the employee mandate for over two years.

Implemented in 2008, the clean-truck program sought to reduce harmful diesel emissions in the POLA by more than 80 percent by restricting port access to post 2007 clean burning vehicles. Part of the program included a requirement that harbor trucking companies hire drivers as direct employees, which the port reasoned would alleviate some of the clean vehicle upgrade costs for the drivers.  However, this employee mandate was seen largely by some groups as a path to unionize harbor drivers.

The 9th Circuit determined that although the port was attempting to promote stability, it could not achieve it through “unilaterally inserting itself into the contractual relationship between motor carriers and drivers.” The city of Los Angeles now faces a decision on whether to file an appeal to the latest ruling. Stay tuned for the latest.