Friday, March 1, 2013

Heads up, New Jersey truckers

There is a push underway at the statehouse to advance an ill-advised effort that is a direct attack on independent contractors.

Dubbed the “Truck Operator Independent Contractor Act,” the legislation – S1450 – would deem port truckers, including owner-operators going onto a port, to be employees. Parcel drivers would also be reclassified as employees.

The Senate Labor Committee is scheduled to consider S1450 on Monday, March 4.

Now would be a great time to contact committee members and urge them to oppose the reclassification effort, which would kill small trucking businesses throughout New Jersey.

Supporters of the reclassification in New Jersey claim that drayage and parcel truckers in the state are being misclassified. Lawmakers should know that the state would be better served to enforce existing rules on classification.

It should also be made clear to lawmakers that the reliance on owner-operators is not limited to the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The changes sought in S1450 would run off trucks and discourage them from doing business in the state. Instead, the reliance on owner-operators is a widely used and reputable practice that should be encouraged as a way to stimulate New Jersey’s economy.

Take time now to communicate with Senate Labor Committee members and let them know how you feel about S1450. An email and a phone call could go a long way to kill the effort.

Sen. Fred Madden, chairman
Sen. Richard Codey, vice chairman