To most people, owning your own business is a way to become successful. For me, it was a mission – a lifeline to a brighter future for myself and my daughters.
That journey began in California more than three decades ago, when I dropped my nursing studies to get a commercial driver’s license. As a woman, the thought of working in a male-dominated field was intimidating at first. But those initial fears soon gave way to the rewarding opportunities that a career in trucking offers.
The change was unexpected. As a single parent raising four daughters, I needed both flexibility and the opportunity to provide for them. Which is why, in 2015, I partnered with Prime Inc. to become an independent contractor.
Being an independent truck driver empowered me to run my truck as my own small business. I loved traveling on the job, the freedom to be my own boss, and the option to take my children with me on long hauls when I could.
Making good money while seeing the country, I built a wonderful life back in California – a place I was proud to call home. I was living my version of the American Dream. But lawmakers in Sacramento soon had a very different plan for me.
When the state legislature began debating Assembly Bill 5 – a law effectively banning independent contractors in trucking – my dream was put in jeopardy. AB5 would have demoted me from small business owner to company employee – affecting my hours, benefits, flexibility and overall ability to earn on my own terms. It would effectively kill the dream I worked so hard to build over so many years.