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  • NJ A4705
  • Establishes system for portable benefits for workers who provide services to consumers through contracting agents.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill establishes a system for the provision of portable benefits to workers who provide services to consumers through contracting agents. Pursuant to the bill, a contracting agent is a business entity that facilitates the provision of services by workers to consumers seeking the services and makes payments to workers, and the provision of services is taxed as an independent contractor. The bill requires contracting agents that have facilitated the provision of services by at least 50 individual workers in a consecutive 12-month period to contribute funds to qualified benefit providers to provide benefits to the workers of the contracting agents. The requirement to contribute funds only applies when the services are provided to consumers located in this State. The contribution amount must be the lesser of 25 percent of the total fee collected from the consumer for each transaction of services provided or six dollars for every hour that the worker provided services to the consumer. If determined per hour, then the determination must be prorated per minute. The contribution amount required under this bill may be added to the invoice or billing submitted to the consumer for the services. The bill requires contributions to be made to the qualified benefit provider on no less than a monthly basis and no later than 15 days after the end of the month in which the services were provided. Contributions must indicate the assigned amount per worker per transaction. Based on the contributions received, qualified benefit providers are to ensure that benefits are provided to workers as set forth in the bill. Qualified benefit providers must provide workers' compensation insurance to those workers entitled to benefits based on contributions. In addition to workers' compensation insurance, qualified benefit providers must provide some or all of other, optional benefits. Qualified benefit providers must solicit input from workers on their benefits, and allow workers to choose from available benefits or allocate the contributions among the following benefits: (1) health insurance, including but not limited to subsidies to purchase health insurance; (2) paid time off; (3) retirement benefits; and (4) other benefits determined by the qualified benefit providers, on behalf of the workers. The bill provides that qualified benefit providers may use up to five percent of the contribution funds received for administration of benefits. A worker entitled to benefits under the bill must select a qualified benefit provider and must be given the option to change that selected qualified benefit provider once per year. Workers are to be provided information regarding available qualified benefit providers in a format that allows them to easily select their chosen qualified benefit provider. The bill requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to adopt rules for organizations to become qualified benefit providers. At a minimum, the rules governing qualified benefit providers must require that the following criteria are met: (1) the organization must be a nonprofit organization, operating under 26 U.S.C. s.501(c)(3) federal tax status; (2) at least one-half of the organization's board of directors must be comprised of workers performing work for customers of contracting agents or representatives of bona fide independent organizations of those workers; (3) the organization must be independent from all business entities, organizations, corporations, or individuals that would pursue any financial interest in conflict with that of the workers; (4) all action of the organization regarding providing benefits must be for the sole purpose of maximizing benefits to the covered workers; (5) the board of directors of the organization must hold a fiduciary duty to the workers with respect to provision of the benefits; and (6) the organization must demonstrate adequate viability and financial sufficiency as determined by the department. At a minimum, the organization must have cash reserves, liability coverage, access to bonding, and any other demonstrated competencies as determined by the department. The bill requires the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to establish rules to implement and administer this act, including rules for monitoring contracting agents and qualified benefit providers, establishing fees on contracting agents to fund compliance efforts, administering workers' compensation coverage for workers, and providing procedures for workers to select and change qualified benefit providers. In addition to remedies provided by the department to a worker for a contracting agent's noncompliance, a worker may bring a private cause of action against a contracting agent for the contracting agent's failure to comply with the bill's contribution requirements. The bill also provides that the requirements on contracting agents and the benefits provided to workers are not be considered in determinations of a worker's employment status or a contracting agent's employment relationship to the worker under the State unemployment law.
2nd Reading in the Assembly, Labor
Assembly Floor Amendment Passed (Vainieri Huttle)  (on 6/22/2017)
Date Chamber Action Description
6/22/2017 A Assembly Floor Amendment Passed (Vainieri Huttle)
6/19/2017 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (19:00 6/19/2017 Revised 6/16/17 - A2167 and A4586 have been added. In addition t)
6/19/2017 A Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
6/19/2017 Assembly Appropriations Hearing (19:00 6/19/2017 )
6/5/2017 A Reported and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
6/5/2017 Assembly Labor Hearing (19:00 6/5/2017 )
3/20/2017 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 6/19/2017 Assembly Appropriations Committee: Reported Favorably 8 3 0
Detail 6/5/2017 Assembly Labor Committee: Reported Favorably 4 2 3