Legislation to classify port drayage owner-operators as company employees has stalled in the New Jersey General Assembly.
Supporters of the Teamsters-backed bill decided Monday against bringing the bill to a floor vote. A committee voted 3-2 last month for the legislation.
The New Jersey Motor Truck Association and other business groups have lobbied to kill the bill, which would place the burden on motor carriers to prove their drivers are independent contractors.
The bill still can be put to a floor vote in the General Assembly, the New Jersey legislature’s lower house. However, the legislation also requires Senate approval and is unlikely to be approved by Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Bills similar to the one in New Jersey have been introduced in other states, including New York, California and Washington. Classifying drivers as employees would make them eligible to unionize.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this month on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ rejection of concession requirements in the Port of Los Angeles’ clean-trucks program.
The Los Angeles requirement was part of a port program to reduce air pollution by encouraging replacement of older trucks. The American Trucking Associations said the provision violates federal law that preempts any state or local measure “related to the price, route or service of any motor carrier.”
[This corrects an earlier version of this story that incorrectly described the Los Angeles case before the Supreme Court.]