As a musician and band leader, sometimes I have no gigs, but will be contracting musicians for upcoming work. Other times, I have multiple gigs at various sites in the tristate area (my record is four gigs in one day, leaving before 7 a.m. and returning at 2 a.m.).
Why I like being an independent contractor: I can make a living playing. There are very, very few organizations that have the amount of work necessary to employ a musician full-time. The vast majority of highly successful music companies have enough work to employ musicians part-time. If I were employed by one office exclusively, I’d be working part-time, and not enough to qualify for any sort of health and retirement benefits.
How S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) will affect me: My career will be devastated by this bill. Some jobs will continue, but the vast majority will not be able to shoulder the increased costs of going W2 and will go away.
What I want lawmakers to know: Without understanding how various industries work, you can’t effectively judge whether this bill should apply to those industries. You need to talk to lots of people in lots of industries that consist of mostly independent contractors to understand why they want to be independent contractors. If they don’t want to be independent contractors, then you know it’s an industry that needs regulation in order to force a switch.
But I’m not those people. I’ve built my entire life and career around being an independent contractor. In mere weeks, you could devastate my livelihood, making the very foundation of my family’s life in New Jersey unstable and possibly forcing us to relocate in order to survive.
If this legislation passes, I can honestly say I do not know what I will do to pay my bills.