In previous eAlerts we have reminded employers to revisit their independent contractor classifications due to changing laws. Now, New Jersey employers have additional incentive to make sure their employees are properly classified in light of a quartet of new laws signed by Governor Murphy on July 8, 2021.
Assembly Bills 1171, 5890, 5891 and 5891 follow up on Governor Murphy’s earlier efforts to address and remedy worker misclassification in the State by providing additional enforcement options and penalties, expanding application of stop-work orders, categorizing misclassification for the purpose of evading payment of insurance premiums as insurance fraud, providing mandatory compensation of employees during the first ten days of a stop-work order, and requiring contractors that bid on public work to file payroll statements with the State.
The new laws also create a new Office of Strategic Enforcement and Compliance to coordinate enforcement of wage, benefit and tax laws between divisions of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development as well as between the Department and other State agencies. What Does This Mean For Employers?This new series of laws serves as a reminder to New Jersey employers that proper classification of workers remains a priority in the State, notwithstanding its recent focus on COVID-19-related issues. We recommend that New Jersey employers do not delay in reviewing the status of any independent contractors or other non-employee categories and confirm that they are properly classified.