Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Thursday establishing a task force on employee misclassification to punish contractors who commit fraud by classifying their employees as independent contractors.
“I am signing this order to crack down on unscrupulous contractors who commit 1099 fraud to exploit workers and rob them of family and medical leave and safe workplace protections that the law provides,” Murphy said. “The employer gives themselves an unfair business advantage and this practice is illegal. This is a question of enforcing what is already on the books.”
Murphy took the action at the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters’ New Jersey Carpenters Apprentice Training Center in Edison.
Murphy said any company that violates the law will be brought into compliance or put out of business. The task force will foster compliance with the law and conduct a comprehensive review of existing practices.
Using a baseball analogy, Murphy said he wants to “put runs on the board early with the equivalent of a 98 mile per hour fastball under the chin.”
New Jersey Department of Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said the order ushers in an era of workers’ rights in New Jersey.
“It is clear that a collaborative effort is required to end this exploitative practice,” Asaro-Angelo said.