On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed bills that will protect employees from worker misclassification. The worker misclassification bills will protect self-employed and freelance workers, and companies will now be obligated to offer them the right to earn overtime pay, earn sick leave time, and be able to take advantage of Workers’ Compensation if they become injured while at work. Workers who are misclassified as independent contractors will be classified as employees, and employers who do not comply with the laws will receive penalties. In 2018, it is stated that more than 12,000 workers were misclassified, and this resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in underreported wages and unemployment and disability contributions.
The bills signed into law include A5839, which penalizes New Jersey employers who intentionally misclassify workers, A5843, which mandates that employers must post information regarding worker misclassification, and A5838, which issues stop-work orders for employers who violate the laws. Additionally, Governor Murphy signed into law the permission for the state Department of Treasury and the Labor and Workforce Development to share tax information and enacted another bill that holds employers responsible for evading tax laws. Only the bill that would have classified employees including freelancers, musicians, and others as independent contractors did not gain enough traction.
The independent contractor misclassification lawyers at Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP fight for workers who contend with wage discrimination or worker misclassification and provide legal counsel to those individuals. To schedule a consultation at one of our nationwide offices including those located in New Jersey, California, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania as well as in New York and Florida, contact SFMS online or call for an appointment at 877-891-9880.