The Impact of Independent Contractor Legislation on Freelance Writers
S4204 (Sweeney)/A5936 (Egan/DeAngelo)
Dear Members of the NJ State Legislature,
You likely received an email yesterday from the New Jersey AFL-CIO that purports to speak on behalf of an industry that it has nothing to do with, and on behalf of human beings that its attorneys and representatives have never even met: freelance writers.
We at www.fightforfreelancers.com can speak for ourselves about our decades’ worth of experience in publishing, and we will continue to do so, directly to you as well as in the local, state and national media.
As members of our ad hoc coalition—now nearly 1,000 members strong in just three weeks—explained to the Senate Labor Committee last Thursday, what the AFL-CIO is telling you is untrue. They say that nothing will change for us because of S4204/A5936. The truth is that we are already being blacklisted because of S4204/A5936. The same thing is happening to freelancers in California because of its law, AB5, which uses similar 20th century legal language to address a very different 21st century workforce.
The Senate Labor Committee also heard testimony from the NJ Bar Association and the NJ Civil Justice Institute that disputes the opinions of the AFL-CIO’s attorney. Read it at www.fightforfreelancers.com.
We agree that the issue of worker misclassification must be addressed. However, you must target only bad actors. S4204/A5936 targets us too. We are working parents, caregivers for sick spouses and children, and people battling illnesses like cancer. We are writers, musicians, therapists, teachers and more. We encourage you to read our stories at www.fightforfreelancers.com.
As the American Society of Journalists and Authors stated: “We urge the country’s lawmakers to respect the constitutional rights and personal preferences of freelancers when considering legislation that redefines the status of independent contractors. Legislation that includes freelance writers in the general class of allegedly exploited workers is an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist and will cause immeasurable harm.”
Please vote no on S4204/A5936. We need legislation that addresses misclassified workers and protects hard-working independent contractors like us.