Which Direction? Is the Independent Contractor/Owner Operator Classification Headed for Extinction or Will it be Saved by FAAA Preemption?

The trucking industry has a special history with respect to the employment status of its drivers.  Those who own or lease their own rigs prefer to view themselves as owner-operators.  They may work principally for one carrier or can work for multiple carriers in different parts of the country.  This tradition runs so deep that even Teamster Union contracts have had special carve-outs for the owner operator.  Over time, the growth of the industry into different carrier modalities, from interstate freight to web based consignment package delivery, has changed the opportunities for drivers and the economic model for the shippers.  Still, the independent contractor model has remained resilient across the industry, despite numerous legal challenges.

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