NJ Lawyers, Others Exempt From Proposed Freelancer Law

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From Law360Jeannie O’Sullivan discusses proposed legislation in New Jersey that would provide basic protections for freelancers similar to the Freelance Isn’t Free Act in New York City.  Jeannie writes:

 Attorneys are among the professionals exempted from a proposal advanced by New Jersey lawmakers Monday that establishes protections for freelancers, such as timely payment assurance and oversight by the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The Senate Labor Committee advanced Assembly Bill 4410 and Senate Bill 3530, twin initiatives that aim to ensure fair treatment of freelance workers, with a roll call vote and no discussion. In addition to lawyers, the proposed legislation doesn’t apply to doctors, real estate agents and union workers.

Under the bills, freelance workers must get written contracts from their clients and be compensated according to its terms. Payment must be rendered within 30 days of the work’s completion if no date has been specified in the contract, and freelancers can file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development if the clients violate the rules. Violations can lead to penalties ranging from administrative action to civil or criminal penalties. The legislation also creates a private right of action in the courts for damages.

“Freelance workers must be paid the compensation they’ve earned, and we need to ensure this basic fairness afforded to every other worker,” Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-Mercer/Somerset/Hunterdon/Middlesex, one of the Assembly bill’s sponsors, said in a statement after the hearing. “Freelances (sic) are a valuable part of our workforce, and they provide many services, but too often they lack basic protections. This bill will ensure they’re treated fairly, benefiting our economy and, in the end, everyone.

Freelancers “invaluable,”Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, D-Bergen, a legislation co-sponsor.

The exemptions are a way of clarifying what members of the workforce are in most need of the protections, Zwicker told Law360.

The legislation received Assembly approval in June and is now pending approval by the full Senate.

Read the full story at NJ Lawyers, Others Exempt From Proposed Freelancer Law

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