Change management and communications consultant

Mary Barna

I’m a change management and communications consultant, which means I help clients all across the United States solve specific challenges related to changes they are implementing in their organizations. I work as an independent contractor myself, and I hire other independent contractors to provide specialized services such as graphic design, proofreading, website development and video production.

My choice to do this work as an independent contractor was careful and intentional. Previously, I was a partner in a large consulting company for many years. I worked long hours. When my mother became terminally ill, I thought a lot about how I wanted to spend my time, and I realized that I wanted to be able to choose my own clients, projects and hours. It took me 10 years to build the consulting business that I have now, and I love the work that I do, as well as the flexibility and control that I have over my own life.

What will happen to me if S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) becomes law: I worry that I will lose my clients. With no clients, I have no business and no income. All the independent contractors that I hire would lose their income, too.

I will not go back to being a full-time employee. I chose years ago to pursue a different career path. Instead, I’ll move to Pennsylvania so I can continue operating my business.

Why the mere threat of S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) becoming law is a problem for my business: I’m worried not only about what will happen if this legislation passes, but also about what’s happening now. Clients who hear about this legislation may sever the business that they do with New Jersey-based independent contractors just to be safe and avoid any legal issues or bad PR.

What I want lawmakers to do: Either vote no on S863 (formerly S4204/A5936), or update its language to reflect the realities of the modern-day workplace. Take care of gig economy workers who are being exploited, but don’t hurt professional independent contractors who are making a great living.