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Californians for Safe & Competitive Dump Truck Transp. v. Mendonca

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

April 13, 1998, Argued, Submitted, San Francisco, California ; August 21, 1998, Filed

No. 97-16026

Opinion

 [*1185]  OPINION

SNEED, Circuit Judge:

 [**2]  The issue before us is whether the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, 49 U.S.C. § 14501 et seq. ("FAAA Act") preempts enforcement of California's Prevailing Wage Law, Cal. Lab. Code §§ 1770-80 ("CPWL"). We hold that it does not do so.

The language and structure of the FAAA Act does not evidence a clear and manifest intent on the part of Congress to preempt the CPWL. Although CPWL is not entirely unrelated "to a price, route or service of . . . motor carriers," the teachings of recent Supreme Court cases make clear that a state law dealing with matters traditionally within its police powers, and having no more than an indirect, remote, and tenuous effect on motor carriers, are not preempted. Such is the case here. Thus, we affirm the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' complaint.

 [*1186]  I.

BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiffs Californians for Safe & Competitive Dump Truck Transportation, Lindeman Brothers, Inc. and Yuba Trucking, Inc. (collectively "Dump Truck") 2 are public works contractors who provide transportation-related services on publicly-funded projects within California. The defendants (collectively [**3]  "Mendonca") are several California agencies and their agents in whom the State of California vests the statutory authority to enforce CPWL.

] Since 1937, when CPWL was enacted, California has required contractors and subcontractors who are awarded public works contracts to pay their workers "not less than the general prevailing rate . . . for work of a similar character in the locality in which the public work is performed." See Cal. Lab. Code § 1771. 3 Failure to pay prevailing wages results in the assessment of penalties against the contractor. See Cal.  [**4]  Lab. Code § 1775. Mendonca assessed Dump Truck various penalties after it failed to pay its workers the prevailing wage.

On September 20, 1996, Dump Truck filed suit in the district court seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief. Dump Truck claimed that enforcement of CPWL violated the Supremacy Clause because the FAAA Act preempted CPWL. Jurisdiction was based on the existence of federal questions and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201, 2202.

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152 F.3d 1184 *; 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 20483 **; 136 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P58,456; 4 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d (BNA) 1483; 98 Daily Journal DAR 9055

CALIFORNIANS FOR SAFE AND COMPETITIVE DUMP TRUCK TRANSPORTATION; LINDEMAN BROTHERS, INC.; YUBA TRUCKING, INC., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. ROBERTA E. MENDONCA; LLOYD W. AUBRY, JR.; JAMES W. VAN LOBEN SELS; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS; CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Defendants-Appellees, and INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AFL-CIO, Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee.

Subsequent History:  [**1]  Certiorari Denied April 5, 1999, Reported at: 1999 U.S. LEXIS 2508.

Prior History: Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. CV-96-03430-MHP. Marilyn H. Patel, District Judge, Presiding.

Disposition: District court's judgment dismissing Dump Truck's complaint under Fed. R . Civ. P. 12(b)(6) affirmed. District court's decision granting IBT's motion to intervene as of right pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a) affirmed.

CORE TERMS

preemption, preempted, routes, motor carrier, FAAA Act, preemption clause, prevailing wage, prices, state law, district court, Airlines, indirect, plans, state regulation, air carrier, regulated, cases, legislative history, motion to intervene, transportation, intrastate, tenuous

Business & Corporate Compliance, Public Contracts Law, Labor Laws, Prevailing Wage Standards, Public Contracts Law, Bids & Formation, Offer & Acceptance, Acceptances & Awards, Labor & Employment Law, Wage & Hour Laws, General Overview, Scope & Definitions, Prevailing Wages, Subcontractors & Subcontracts, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Constitutional Law, Supremacy Clause, Appellate Jurisdiction, Final Judgment Rule, Governments, Police Powers, Transportation Law, Air & Space Transportation, Charters, Interstate Commerce, State Powers, Parties, Intervention, Intervention of Right