Good news for New Jersey host agencies and independent contractors (ICs)! According to Insider NJ, the State Senate will amend S4204 to “restore language in the ‘B’ part of the test so that employees working outside the places of the employers’ business will continue to qualify as independent contractors.” This update allows travel agencies to satisfy this element of the three-part test.
In a letter to New Jersey Senator Stephen M. Sweeney sent earlier in the month, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) said, “it is critical that it be amended to clearly state that workers engaged to sell travel in our industry will be evaluated under the current “ABC” standard which has been place in New Jersey for many years. When a similar bill (Assembly Bill 5) codifying a more stringent "ABC” test was passed in California, travel advisors received an exemption along with numerous other industries such as insurance agents, physicians, dentists, direct salespersons, real estate agents, barbers, architects and others.”
ASTA says that its grassroots campaign generated 490 messages to New Jersey legislators in the past few weeks. Should law have required ICs to become an employee, ASTA says that, according to a survey of its members, more than 60 percent of independent advisors would choose to leave the industry or leave the state for one that allows them the flexibility they currently have.
The legislation is not complete, so changes may still be made but this is a positive step for the travel industry.
For agencies and ICs in California, ASTA will be hosting a webinar on December 3 to help them become compliant with the new law. In New York, advisors are recommended to continue contacting their representatives in order to receive a similar outcome.