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Bill Would Protect Freelance Workers In New Jersey

New Jersey Statehouse

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation to ensure the nearly 600,000 residents who do freelance work are treated fairly.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker says his bill would require businesses that have a written contract with a freelance worker to compensate them no later than 30 days after they complete the job.

“Unlike conventional employees, freelance workers aren’t part of a payroll system and don’t have the same protections afforded to them. There are times where there are problems and they don’t get paid for their work, accrued expenses, either at all or in a timely manner.”

Assemblyman Hal Wirths, who used to be labor commissioner, questions whether the legislation is necessary.

“I just don’t understand the magnitude of the problem. How many folks have come forward to you that we need such a bill that we have to have involvement where there seems to be plenty of recourse within the law now?”

Zwicker believes there are plenty of cases.

“Because these are often people who don’t have the resources, they are struggling to make ends meet, I believe we don’t hear about this as much. But given the hundreds of thousands of people here I think this is just a common-sense way to put together protections in place.”

If the bill is enacted, violators could face up to one thousand dollars in fines.