Lisa Fields

I’m a freelance writer who focuses on health, nutrition, fitness and psychology content. I’ve done this work for more than 13 years. I write articles for traditional journalistic publications, as well as related content for companies. I start my day a little before 9 a.m., after my son gets on the school bus, and I work until 3 p.m., when my daughter gets home from school. I then spend some time with my kids (driving them to activities, helping them with homework) and work a few more hours in the evening, after they go to bed.

Why I want to remain an independent contractor: I’m a single mom, and the freelance lifestyle allows me to be present for my children. I can write at noon or midnight, and nobody cares as long as I meet my deadlines (which I always do).

My career choice has recently been lumped in with the gig economy, the buzzy term that’s been used to describe anyone who does work as an independent contractor. But my career predates all of the current buzz about side hustles and gig workers. It’s a model that works for me and allows me to single-handedly support my household.

What will happen to me if S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) is enacted: The way the bill was written originally, I would have been put out of business, and I have no other income. Other independent contractors have said that they would be forced to move out of New Jersey, but my children’s father lives nearby, and they see him often. I would be forced to find full-time employment, which would be less than ideal. I wouldn’t earn as much money. I would miss the flexibility to be present for my children. And my children would miss my presence.

What I want lawmakers to do: Please consider shelving this bill altogether, since it will affect the lives of thousands upon thousands of independent contractors who are not the intended target. If you do decide to move forward, then please choose your words very carefully, so that they do not have unintended consequences.

I’ve worked hard to establish myself during the past decade-plus, and I am well regarded in my field. It would be tragic if I were forced to abandon my business model because of this legislation.