New Jersey Governor Announces Task Force to Crackdown on Misclassification of Employees as “Independent Contractors”

On May 3, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy announced that he had signed an executive order establishing the Task Force on Employee Misclassication. According to Governor Murphy, the purpose of this task force is to address the use of the independent contractor classification by New Jersey employers to “escape their legal responsibilities to their workers, such as ensuring adequate workplace protections and providing employment-related benefits like unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation.”

The Task Force will be charged with a number of responsibilities to combat employee misclassification, including:

  1. Examining and evaluating existing misclassification enforcement by executive departments and agencies;
  2. Developing best practices by departments and agencies to increase coordination of information and efficient enforcement;
  3. Developing recommendations to foster compliance with the law, including by educating employers, workers, and the public about misclassification; and
  4. Conducting a review of existing law and applicable procedures related to misclassification.

This is an important step by Governor Murphy to address one of the more important wage and hour issues confronting workers in the current economy. This is especially true for those workers who are part of the “gig economy” and do not receive the countless benefits of being classified as an employee. A copy of executive order is available here.

Winebrake & Santillo has represented hundreds of employees who have alleged that they were improperly classified as non-employee independent contractors and did not receive minimum wage and overtime premium compensation.

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