With little publicity, New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney introduced legislation (S4204) last week to implement a rigid version of the so-called "ABC test" to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor (IC), similar to California AB 5 and New York Senate Bill S6699A.
The New Jersey legislature is in a "lame duck" session through the end of the year and could take final votes on this bill in the next few weeks, according to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). It is critical, ASTA says, to convince legislators to amend the bill to protect the IC model in the travel industry, as industry members successfully did in California and will have to do in neighboring New York next year.
ASTA has already created a grassroots portal for New Jersey travel advisors and agency owners, allowing them to send a sample or custom email to their State Senator.
The new bill reads: “This bill provides that, for the purposes of all State employment laws, individuals who perform services for remuneration are employees, not independent contractors, and are subject to the provisions of those laws, and entitled to all remedies for any violations of those laws, unless and until it is shown to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that:
- The individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the service, both under the individual’s contract of service and in fact; and
- The individual’s service is either outside the usual course of the business for which that service is performed; and
- The individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.”
Eben Peck, ASTA’s executive vice president, advocacy, told Luxury Travel Advisor recently that additional states that could follow suite include Illinois, Oregon and Washington.