Press Release

Rep. Kiley Challenges Julie Su to Protect Women In Motion’s Independent Truckers

May 02, 2024

Washington -- At a House Committee on Education & the Workforce hearing yesterday, Representative Kevin Kiley (R-California) shared the stories of independent truckers and called on Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su to respect their choice and protect their livelihoods.  
Reading from a booklet compiled by ATA’s Women In Motion council, Representative Kiley demanded to know why Su promulgated a rule that could forcibly reclassify workers like Bambi Bealer, an independent trucker from Arkansas who is worried that a ban on independent contractors will limit the income and flexibility her family depends on.  Representative Kiley called on Su to provide assurance that her department would not go after independent truckers and force them to run their businesses differently.  Su declined to give that commitment.
“More than 350,000 truckers—including many women—choose to work as independent contractors because of the economic opportunity it creates and the flexibility it provides, enabling them to run their own business and select their own hours and routes,” said American Trucking Associations President & CEO Chris Spear.  “Julie Su completely disregarded these drivers when she rolled out the Biden administration’s destructive independent contractor rule.  
“ATA’s Women In Motion council has done incredible work to capture the voices of independent contractors and provided their testimonials to Representative Kiley, who is a champion on this issue.  We are grateful for his willingness to share their stories with Su in a forum that is impossible for her to ignore.  ATA stands firmly behind Representative Kiley in his ongoing effort to defeat this ill-advised rule, and we will continue to work alongside him and other Members of Congress to protect Americans’ right to earn a living in the manner that they choose.”
The trucking industry has relied on independent contractors since the inception of interstate trucking, and court decisions over the last nine decades have continually reaffirmed the legitimate role independent contractors play in the economy. That freedom of choice has been an enormous source of empowerment for women, minorities and immigrants pursuing the American Dream.
Two weeks ago, 18 women trucking leaders participated in ATA’s Women In Motion Call on Washington to encourage top policymakers on Capitol Hill and in the White House to promote opportunities for women in the industry.  To drive home this advocacy, the Women In Motion members provided a booklet to lawmakers, including Representative Kiley, that contained the testimonies of dozens of women truckers.  In their own words, women from across the country explained why they decided to work as independent contractors and demanded that Congress preserve this critical pathway to entrepreneurship.
Independent contractors are in jeopardy because earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule on independent contractor classification.  It replaced a straightforward definition with an opaque and deliberately confusing standard designed to fuel frivolous litigation and deny self-employed individuals the freedom of choice to work as independent contractors.  
The rule was crafted under the leadership of Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su, who has repeatedly failed to recognize the importance of independent contractors and implemented California’s disastrous AB5 as the head of the state’s labor and workforce development agency.  Her unwillingness to answer simple straightforward questions about how her policies impact the livelihoods of 350,000 independent truckers is why ATA continues to oppose her nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Labor.
ATA has strongly opposed the independent contractor rule since its inception and joined a broad coalition of organizations filing a lawsuit against it.  ATA is also backing a legislative effort led by Representative Kiley and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) to overturn the rule.