Video Editor

Eve Brue

Why I Freelance: I love the autonomy—I can choose or decline projects at will, and make my own hours. And, I earn more as a freelancer than I did as an employee. 

A lot of my freelance work allows me to work from home. I have autoimmune arthritis, so the lack of commute and flexibility of work hours allow me to better care for my health. 

Why being an independent contractor is better for me: I actually feel that I have more job security. As a freelancer, I’ve worked hard to build a network of contacts, and I’m never without work when I need it. (In fact, I sometimes have to turn it away.) Earlier in my career when I was an employee, I was laid off several times from staff jobs because TV shows weren’t renewed and the production company hadn’t launched a new show to replace it. As a freelancer who works for multiple clients, if a show ends, all of my proverbial eggs aren’t in that basket anyway. I’m much more agile and able to increase my workload with another client.

Why I’m Worried: S4204/A5936 will decimate my ability to make a living in New Jersey, as well as my husband’s. (We’re both freelance video editors.) The way S4204/A5936 is written, it will make it impossible for me to remain an independent contractor in New Jersey. The legislation says that people like me can never go to a client’s office. Not even once. On occasion, I do go to an office, whether to get on the same page creatively through some face-to-face time, or because there’s too much media/data to work remotely. 

I don’t think any of my clients would be willing to make me an employee—nor do I want to be their employee! My New York City-based clients will simply replace me with New York City-based freelancers. I work remotely for all of my non-New York City clients, so they’ll replace me with someone from anywhere else.

What Legislators Should Know: I love being a self-employed, independent contractor! Myself and many others choose to be freelancers. I understand that the bill has good intentions by curbing things like permalancing (where you “freelance” endlessly for only one client but without benefits.) 

However many of us are truly freelancing and benefitting greatly from it. (So is NJ, now that a good amount of my work is from home in NJ, I spend more money in NJ!) We just bought a house in West Long Branch, and I hope to stay here. I will be heartbroken if this bill passes.

Online ESL Teacher

Jessica Ramos

I’m an online English as a second language teacher. I wake up at 3 a.m., and I teach from about 3:30 until 8 a.m.

While some people might find that schedule ridiculous, for me, it’s terrific. Traditional employment does not work for my family. I suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome and chronic depression, and my youngest child has cerebral palsy and other medical issues. She is sick a lot and stays home from school.

This job has allowed me to teach, as I have always wanted to do. It also allows me to care for my family, and it has contributed greatly to the medical expenses that insurance does not cover.

Please allow for exceptions in S863 for online ESL teachers.

Therapist

Karen Megill

I am a therapist who works with youth in the New Jersey system of care, providing counseling and crisis intervention. Sometimes, the children and families I work with need specific interventions or treatment modalities that I’m not trained to offer. In those cases, I refer the cases to five superb clinicians who pick up the work as independent contractors.

What will happen if S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) becomes law: I will no longer be able to refer specialty cases to the independent contractors who can provide the best forms of therapy. That will be a real detriment to the children of New Jersey who need this kind of help.

Lawmakers, please: Reconsider this proposal. It will destroy the independent therapist community all across New Jersey.