The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently found that nearly 80% of gig workers prefer gig economy work to traditional employment. However, personal freedom seemingly means nothing to Democrat politicians who want to tank the gig economy in New Jersey in order to push their freedom-killing, woke agenda.
Democratic New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeny has introduced legislation that would force companies to classify all workers as employees unless the business can get an exemption from the state’s Labor Commissioner. Needless to say, such an exemption would be difficult if not impossible to obtain as, by default, anyone who performs a service for someone else in exchange for remuneration would be considered an employee.
In order to remain an independent contractor, a person would have to “be free from control or direction over the performance of the service and regularly engage in the same kind of work he or she is being hired to do.”
Companies such as Uber, DoorDash, and Lyft would be hard hit by the new bit of legislation. However, it’s not just corporate entities who will suffer. Average individuals of all ages and walks of life will take a hit as well. Bloomberg Law recently found that the proposed law would raise costs by 20%, as companies would need to bring in more cash to pay full wages and benefits to employees. This is no small figure, especially when one considers the fact that New Jersey has one of the highest costs of living in the United States.
What’s more, contractors throughout the state would suffer as well as they would be forced to choose between working full-time for a company or not working for a company at all. Ironically, it is the poor, and lower-middle-class workers who will suffer the most. Many of these individuals work a full-time, low-wage job during regular business hours, and then drive for Uber or Lyft during the evening and/or on weekends in order to bring in extra cash. Once the new legislation is passed, these workers won’t be able to earn the additional income they need for themselves and their families.
The new bill would also decimate New Jersey’s large trucking industry. Many truckers are owner-operators of their own vehicles. These individuals take on jobs from various companies, and tend to earn significantly more than truckers who work full-time for a particular company. Like Uber and Lyft drivers, independent truckers can also select their own hours and jobs, refusing work that would be too taxing, too dangerous, or simply not to their liking. New Jersey would strip these hard-working individuals of their freedom, forcing them to work for lower wages and take on jobs they don’t want to do – all in the name of “preventing workers from being deprived of basic labor protections.”
As the president of the Association of Bi-State Motor Carriers in New Jersey recently noted, the new law could result in some companies diverting shipments to other states, resulting in loss of revenue and jobs for New Jersey residents and companies.
The Democrat push to destroy the gig economy in the name of “protecting worker rights” is dangerous in itself, yet it’s only a symptom of a much worse problem. Far-left liberals seem to think that freedom is wrong and that the government should have the right to dictate how and where people live, where parents should send their children to school, how and where people should work, how they should travel, what they can eat and drink, and more.
The recent move to force gig economy workers who are perfectly happy with their working arrangements to give up their lifestyle will make life miserable for everyone.