To be more specific, Senate Bill 1450 addresses the misclassification of short-distance and parcel delivery truckers as independent contractors by their employers. The Bill sponsored by senate majority leader Loretta Weinberg was approved by the senate May 29th and would give drivers the protections and rights afforded most employees. It would prevent trucking companies (FDX ground included) from intentionally misclassifying these drivers as a way of avoiding worker's rights laws and the employer responsibilities including unemployment, disability/workman's comp, benefits, SS contributions, and overtime. Specifically the bill argues, if companies don't make payments to the state unemployment reserve fund, the medicare fund, the temporary disability fund, and social security everyone loses. It's not only about the individual workers being put as risk but the taxpayer as well. A 2009 study by the GO found that about 15% of employees nationwide are misclassified and a 2005 NJ DOL study found 28,200 impacted even before the practice became more widespread.
The bill passed 21-17 and offered fines of up to $15K and imprisonment up to one year for the first violation and fines up to $30K and 2 years for subsequent ones. This bill mirrors one already on the books for the construction industry. Hopefully Chris Christie sees the fairness in all of this and treats the trucking industry like the construction industry.