SENATE BUDGET AND APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 5843
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: JANUARY 6, 2020
The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 5843.
This bill requires employers to post a notice for their employees regarding employee misclassification. Specifically, under the bill, an employer is required to conspicuously post notification, in a place or places accessible to all employees in each of the employer’s workplaces, in a form issued by the commissioner, explaining:
1. The prohibition against employers misclassifying employees;
2. The standard that is applied by the department to determine whether one is an employee or an independent contractor;
3. The benefits and protections to which an employee is entitled under State wage, benefit and tax laws;
4. The remedies under New Jersey law to which workers affected by misclassification may be entitled; and
5. Information on how a worker or a worker’s authorized representative may contact, by telephone, mail and e-mail, a representative of the commissioner to provide information to, or file a complaint with, the representative regarding possible worker misclassification.
The bill prohibits an employer from discharging or in any other manner discriminating against an employee because the employee has made an inquiry or complaint to his employer, to the commissioner or to his authorized representative regarding possible worker misclassification, or because the employee has caused to be instituted or is about to cause to be instituted any proceeding regarding worker misclassification under State wage, benefit and tax laws, or because the employee has testified in the proceeding.
Under the bill, an employer who violates any of those provisions will be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and will, upon conviction, be subject to a fine. An employer will also be required to offer reinstatement in employment to a discharged employee and to correct any discriminatory action, and to pay the employee all reasonable legal costs of the action, all wages and benefits lost as a result of the discharge or discriminatory action, plus punitive damages equal to two times the lost wages and benefits, under penalty of contempt proceedings for failure to comply with the requirement.
Finally, the bill requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to maintain a webpage that contains information regarding employee misclassification.
As reported, this bill is identical to Senate Bill No. 4227, as also reported by the committee.
The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) estimates that the bill may result in an indeterminate annual State revenue increase, due to the collection of penalties resulting from violations of the provisions of the bill. The OLS also notes that the bill may result in an indeterminate, likely insignificant, State administrative expenditure increase, to maintain a webpage that contains information regarding employee misclassification and perform other duties as the bill specifies.