On May 3, 2019, in the case of Anthony Ayala v. U.S. Xpress Enterprises, the U.S. Central District Court of California dismissed a California plaintiff’s meal and rest break claim on the basis that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s December 21, 2018 Order preempted California’s meal-and-rest break laws.
The FMCSA’s December 21, 2018 Order determined that California’s meal-and-rest break laws 1) have no safety benefit beyond those already provided by the FMCSA, 2) are incompatible with federal hours of service regulations, and 3) cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce. The Court in Ayala v. U.S. Xpress held that the FMCSA’s Order is binding unless overturned by a federal appeals court. The Court further held that it has no jurisdiction to reverse the FMCSA Order and dismissed Plaintiff’s meal rest break claims on that basis.
Currently there are four separate appeals filed in U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the FMCSA’s Order.
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