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.