New Jersey Bill Seeks To Make Independent Contractor Relationship Onerous And Risky

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On September 27, 2012, a bill (A3310) was introduced that seeks to place onerous requirements on employers that engage independent contractors (for $600 or more), and that would impose significant damages and penalties for noncompliance with pay arrangements. First, the bill requires that the work terms between the independent contractor and the client must be in writing, signed by both the client and the independent contractor with the agreement kept on file by the client for a period of six years. Second, the work terms must include a description of how compensation is calculated, earned, and payable. Third, the bill requires that independent contractors be paid, in accordance with the work terms, no later than the last day of the month following the month in which the compensation was earned. Finally, the bill would allow the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) or any independent contractor to bring an administrative or civil action for unpaid compensation, and in addition to standard damages, either the Commissioner or a court would have the authority to assess liquidated damages of up to 100 percent of the compensation found to be due, plus attorneys’ fees.

Note: This article was published in the October 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.