of New Jersey
WHEREAS, the practice of misclassifying workers as alleged independent contractors, rather than in accordance with their actual status as employees, causes serious negative repercussions to our State’s economy; and
WHEREAS, workers who are improperly classified suffer an economic disadvantage and are involuntary disenfranchised from the social insurance benefits and basic worker protections provided to individuals classified as employees, including unemployment and disability insurance, Social Security wage credits, and employee health and pension benefits offered by the employer to its workforce; and
WHEREAS, employers who willfully misclassify workers as independent contractors realize an unfair competitive advantage over employers who properly identify their workers as employees; and
WHEREAS, the State has undertaken significant efforts to address these problems, including the enactment on August 21, 2006, of P.L.2006, c.85, requiring the use of a unified single definition of “employee” for purposes of withholding State income, unemployment insurance and disability insurance taxes, and the enactment on July 13, 2007, of the “Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act,” P.L.2007, c.114; and
WHEREAS, the State’s efforts to address the problem of employee misclassification in the construction industry and to ensure contractor compliance with the Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act will be enhanced through the creation of an advisory body comprised of government officials and private sector representatives with expertise in this subject;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JON S. CORZINE, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- There is hereby created, pursuant to Art. V, Sec. IV, par. I of the New Jersey Constitution, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Construction Industry Independent Contractor Reform (the “Advisory Commission”). The mission of the Advisory Commission is to develop recommendations for a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to addressing the problem of employee misclassification in the construction industry and to ensuring contractor compliance with the “Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act,” P.L.2007, c.114.
- The Advisory Commission shall be composed of the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development or a designee, serving ex officio; the Attorney General or a designee, serving ex officio; the State Treasurer or a designee, serving ex officio; and eight public members who shall be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure as follows: three representatives from three different building trades unions; one representative of the New Jersey AFL-CIO; one representative of residential developers; one representative of residential construction contractors; one representative of commercial developers; and one representative of commercial construction contractors.
- The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall serve as chair of the Advisory Commission. All public members of the Advisory Commission shall serve without compensation. Vacancies on the Advisory Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
- In furtherance of its mission stated in paragraph one, above, the Advisory Commission shall be authorized to:
- make recommendations to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Department of the Treasury with respect to synchronizing each respective Department’s regulations and policies regarding employee misclassification;
- conduct public hearings to increase public awareness of the illegal nature and harms inflicted by employee misclassification in the construction industry and to highlight potential significant cases of misclassification that may warrant investigation by the appropriate government agency;
- make recommendations to enhance mechanisms for identifying employee misclassification where it does occur;
- work with business, labor and community groups to develop educational materials that distinguish the difference between an independent contractor and an employee; and
- cooperate with State, Federal and local social service agencies to identify ways to provide assistance to vulnerable populations that have been exploited by employee misclassification, including, but not limited to, immigrant workers.
- The Advisory Commission shall issue a report annually to the Governor on the status of implementation of the Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act, to include publicly available information regarding: cases brought, wages and taxes recovered on behalf of the State, outcomes of cases, legal or administrative barriers to successful implementation, a review of the process used to adjudicate misclassification cases, and proposals for any additional legislative action that may be needed to enhance the State’s efforts to address employee misclassification in the construction industry.
- The Advisory Commission is authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of this State to supply it with data and other information, personnel or assistance available to such agency as the Advisory Commission deems necessary to discharge its duties under this Order. Each department, office, division or agency of this State is hereby required, to the extent not inconsistent with law, to cooperate fully with the Advisory Commission and to furnish the Advisory Commission such assistance on as timely a basis as is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. The Advisory Commission may consult with experts or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector on any aspect of its mission.
- This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 18th day
Two Thousand and Eight, and
of the Independence of the United States, the
Two Hundred and Thirty-Second.
/s/ Jon S. Corzine
/s/ Kenneth H. Zimmerman
Chief Counsel to the Governor