Online ESL Teacher

Kelly McCrea

Two years ago, my husband lost a job he had held for 12 years. Since then, he has been unable to secure a full-time job comparable to the pay he was earning. To help provide for our family, I began teaching 4- to 16-year-olds how to speak English through an online platform called VIPKid. I make my own hours, which means I can work in the very early mornings, leaving the rest of the day to focus, with my husband, on our other home-based business of online resale. I’m earning decent money, and I have the freedom to be a mom to my large family.

Why S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) worries me: The state of New Jersey is hard enough to live in. Property taxes alone have nearly sunk us since my husband’s departure from his full-time job. My online teaching income has kept food on our table and given me the opportunity to grow into a career field that I’m passionate about. Losing this job will not only be a catastrophic blow to our finances, but I will deeply regret losing the students I have grown to love.

What I want lawmakers to know: I understand that this legislation is intended to help exploited workers. That is a good and noble endeavor, but I am not exploited. The company I teach with has already stopped hiring California teachers since that state passed its own version of S863 (formerly S4204/A5936). The same thing will happen in New Jersey with all kinds of companies that work with independent contractors. The domino effect will be huge.

Why S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) must be stopped: Do we really want NJ residents to be exempt from jobs that they are well-qualified to do, that they want, and that they need? This law hurts women like me. Please don’t make it even harder on us to live and work here.

Did you know: The Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 survey of workers showed that a whopping 79 percent of independent contractors wished to remain as independent contractors. Read the report for yourself. That is a very large majority. We shouldn’t be enacting a law that benefits the minority at the expense of the majority.