State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean warned that a bill that would require employers to prove their independent contractors are not employees could adversely affect workers Friday.
“My phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from people who are genuinely afraid of losing their livelihoods and their companies as a result of this proposed change to how independent contractors are treated under New Jersey law,” Kean said.
The measure would designate workers as employees until businesses could demonstrate to the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development that they did not qualify for the position.
Employees are granted a slew of protections unavailable to contract workers, including health benefits and the like.
Kean said he fears the bill will cut off residents from gig opportunities like those provided by rideshare services, where drivers are currently considered independent contractors.
The bill is likely to move to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk during the lame duck session.
“For many people, this legislation will deprive them of an important choice in how they work, eliminate income-earning opportunities, and make it even harder to survive in New Jersey,” Kean said.