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Revamping NJ Labor Law to Protect Workers in ‘Gig Economy,’ Boost State Taxes

John Reitmeyer | November 18, 2019 | NJ Spotlight |


Senate President Steve Sweeney is behind a bill that’s ‘all about protecting the rights of workers,’ but business interests have misgivings


State lawmakers are considering updating New Jersey labor law to boost worker protections and prevent companies in the so-called gig economy from misclassifying workers as independent contractors.

Legislation cleared a Senate committee last week seeking to expand the state’s definition of what constitutes an official “employee” of a company to include those who aren’t typically in the office or “place of business” of the employer. That is intended to keep companies from misclassifying their workers as “independent contractors.”

The expanded definition is an important one for both workers and the state, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester). Independent contractors generally don’t get the same benefits from employers as employees do; companies also don’t have to contribute payroll taxes on their behalf to the state for things like unemployment insurance. Sweeney said the bill will codify in law the state’s existing regulations.

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