In the last few years NJ audited several movers and many were charged with misclassifying their owner-operators as employers. After several lawsuits, NJ legislators tried to make changes to the NJ wage & hour laws with a new bill (S4204) that would have made it difficult to be an owner-operator if you only worked for one company and did not advertise your services. A new section in the bill basically states that ever person that works for a living was an employee, unless they were legally registered and could prove to the State that they meet all 3 requirements of the A-B-C rule, which is difficult the way it is written.
That bill did not pass both houses within 2 years so it expired and was reintroduced in 2020 as bill S863 by Senator Sweeney, but the bill has been stalled due to COVID-19 and budget issues. Senator Sweeney said he will try to move the bill after they resolve the current issues. We have asked Senator Sweeney for changes to the A-B-C section of the proposed bill that will allow independent contractors to continue working for the companies of their choice. No word at this time.
But there is some good news; the US Department of labor just announced a proposed rulemaking to define what an independent contractor is under the Fair Labor Standards Act!
According to USDOL Secretary Gene Scalia, “Part of what’s notable about this proposed rule is simply that we’re doing it. In the more than 80 years since enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, the Department has never adopted a rule defining the term for general industry.”
The USDOL said “If this proposed rule were finalized, it would contain the Department’s sole and authoritative interpretation of independent contractor status under the FLSA.”
All interested parties can submit comments on the bill within 30 days, so we will be send our comments. Click below for more info including a copy of the proposal. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/2020-independent-contractor-nprm