U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Case Status


Docket Number



Case Updates


December 04, 2013

The Fourth Circuit remanded to the district court for review of the approval of the class action settlement.

U.S. Chamber urges Fourth Circuit to affirm FAAAA preempts state law requiring motor carriers to use employees rather than independent contractors

September 06, 2013

The Chamber asked the Fourth Circuit to affirm that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAAA”) preempts a Massachusetts' law requiring motor carriers to use employees rather than independent contractors. The FAAAA provides that no State “may enact or enforce a law related to a price, route, or service of any motor carrier.” 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1). In this case, a group of Lasership drivers sued the transportation company arguing that Massachusetts law required Lasership to classify them as employees rather than independent contractors.

In its brief, the Chamber argues that the FAAAA preempts state laws that increase employment costs for motor carriers because such laws ultimately result in higher prices or reduced service - the exact results that Congress sought to prevent by enacting the FAAAA. Even though the Massachusetts law does not directly regulate price, the “natural and logical effect of the law is to cause motor carriers costs to increase.” Furthermore, existing “restrictions on how and when employees may deliver products, not applicable to independent contractors, will reduce the routes and services motor carriers are able to offer their customers.” Specifically, the Massachusetts law would hinder the ability of motor carriers to offer “innovative and useful shipping services, such as bundling and on-demand delivery.” Finally, the Chamber highlights the unique nature of Massachusetts’ law, as well as its detrimental effect on motor carriers nationwide and the businesses that rely on them.

Case Documents