Jennifer Miller is a freelance writer from Audubon who figures she would lose about half of her annual income if New Jersey enacts its employee misclassification bill.

In an op-ed published in  The Philadelphia Inquirer today, she says she has seen her peers losing work in California, which has already enacted a similar measure, and now she’s worried she will face a similar fate, as companies will be afraid to work with freelancers if the bill gets enacted.

“Please don’t take away my ability to make a living or force me to move,” Miller writes. “Because if this passes, I won’t have another choice.

“So I am asking (the Legislature): please don’t pass this bill — at least not in this form,” Miller concludes. “It will ruin the livelihood of entrepreneurs and drive good people and good talent out of the state.”

NJBIA opposes these bills, A-5936 and S-4204, and made some of the same points in testimony before both the Senate and Assembly labor committees. As Vice President for Government Affairs Mike Wallace noted, the bills would impact a lot more than freelance writers.

“This bill would hit small businesses especially hard because they would be unable to use contractors for their non-essential tasks that large companies can do in-house, like payroll or janitorial services,” Wallace said. “Additionally, businesses would find it hard, if not impossible, to hire temporary workers to meet peak demand. Businesses either would have to maintain peak staffing at all times or be unable to meet their customers’ needs when demand is high.”

But Miller’s essay offers a very personal perspective on the bill’s impact.

“Given how precarious full-time newsroom jobs are right now, I am grateful that I have been able to thrive in my field in a way that works best for me and earns me more money than if I had a traditional W2 job,” Miller wrote. “I have work-life balance that has let me live a whole, happy, and healthy life.”

Read the full op-ed here.


7 responses to “Freelancer Explains Why NJ’s Misclassification Bill is a Bad Deal”

  1. Steven Quadrel says:

    as a trucking owner: most truck drivers that pick up containers coming into the NJ ports are owner operators…surely this will put many of them out of business……and create a burden on interstate commerce…..we already have a truck driver shortage in this country, this new law just adds more fuel to the fire….what are these politicians thinking……they should get a real job and see what’s it like running a business and being responsible for putting food on the the table each week and providing for your family. They are taking away the American dream slowly but surely in this country…it’s the gov way or no way.

    They should look in the mirror and ask themselves why people are leaving this state…and why companies don’t want to set up business here….with laws like this, high taxes and car insurance…better off going west or south.

    time will tell-NJ going to be in same boat as CA….mucho problems down the road.

  2. Paul says:

    Oh come on, Governor Murphy is not happy unless he is signing bills. He should have a brace on his hand due to all the signing he does. This is all about politics and getting re-elected. That is all the politicians want. They have promised so much that New Jersey is the number 1 debt ridden state and there is no sign of a let up. Promise pensions and raise wages even if the businesses and the government can’t afford them. Remember they will be out of office and not have to face the problem once they retire. They however will want their pensions. Our children will be paying the tab or moving to a better state.

  3. Dave says:

    The full-op ed comments/questions are scary at bottom of article. They mostly challenge the writer thinking she is not affected, and show me how these tools are getting into office. One goes as far to say Uber drivers are freelancers and that is what this EO is trying to address. How many Uber drivers are grossing $120K a year like this women specifies in her op-ed. I’m no accountant or lawyer, but it should be noted there are two sides to everything, independent contractors and businesses(rightfully so) get to write off many expenses. It is possible the tax and spenders see this as a loss of revenue and want everyone to be a standard W2 employee. Yeh, the spin is to give the workers great benefits when compared to independent contractors. But none the less someone is paying for the bennys, and likely business or person will just move the heck out of here if they cannot afford the red tape.

  4. Miguel says:

    Everyone must keep this in mind. Trenton’s so called concern about worker abuse especially in regard to “independent operators” is comical and a smoke screen.

    The main reason for all of these proposed bills are because the powers to be, especially Sweeney and Murphy are beholding to the unions.

    Unions can not unionize independent contractors due to federal law. After many attempts to try to overturn the federal law they gave up. Their solution was to work with politicians in progressive states to enact legislation to reclassify independent operators as employees so that once that is accomplished they can attempt to organize and unionize those employees.

    Question – why did accountants and realtors get a carve out / exemption? Were the unions not interested in those “white” collar jobs? Let’s see what other type of industries get exemptions. I bet “blue” collar industries don’t get exemptions. Talk about discrimination. Wow.

  5. G.Devine says:

    My company, VIPKid, announced this week they will not hire any new teachers from CA due to their recently passed law. To anyone that thinks this is a good law – think again. It benefits nobody but the union and politicians getting paid off by them.

  6. Eric Klein says:

    I’m self-employed as a sales management consultant and my wife is a free lance writer – we will both lose all our clients and income due to this hasty and poorly conceived legislation. It will likely result in having to leave NJ for NY. In the years to come, if you’re not working for the “big corporation” you will have no other options.

  7. Robert Pichette says:

    I work as a real estate appraiser and have my own LLC. given the nature of this work which is deadline oriented and subject to vagaries of the real estate market and interest rates there are slow times as I can’t keep too large a client base so as to not make promises I can’t keep as can happen if I get too much work. I don’t hire subs but rather whose to work as a sub for other appraisal firms that at that I can tap into when they have work and i don’t. Without this I can’t manage work flow or stay in business.

    I pay all applicable taxes. In fact I have to pay for unemployment that I can’t actually use. So be it, but this new law is terrible. I have always known that no party really supports the small businesses, but this is a new low, even for New Jersey