Digital marketing

Gene Sower

I quit a six-figure job in New York City after commuting for 25 years. I no longer wanted to commute, and I risked everything to start my own business that S4204 is now poised to destroy.

Today, I own a small digital marketing agency that I have run out of my home in Montclair for 13 years. I work with a dedicated group of freelancers, some of whom have been with me on various projects for seven or eight years. They all want the flexibility of working their own hours from their own homes, and they want the ability to work for other companies like mine. They enjoy the flexible schedule and the unlimited earning potential that being a freelancer provides.

If I had to put all my freelancers on staff, then I would be out of business. One reason is that the nature of my business is ebb and flow, but the main reason is that no single person has all the skills needed for every type of internet marketing project. Someone who can run online ad campaigns is not the same person who can write blog posts or build websites. I work with various specialists on a freelance basis as needed.

What I want lawmakers to do: Leave me alone. I’ve been able to raise a family and be a taxpaying member of this state for more than 50 years. Many people need to work freelance jobs to make ends meet, to be available for children or aging parents, or because they are disabled, can’t drive or just plain enjoy it. I understand that S4204 is aimed at protecting misclassified workers; go ahead and do that, but do not adopt this scorched-earth policy that also destroys hardworking and successful people like me.

What will happen if S863 (formerly S4204) becomes law: It will put me out of business, and it scares the hell out of me.

Sales management consulting

Eric Klein

I’m in sales management consulting. I promote products in the Northeast, primarily professional audio products, for small manufacturers that can’t afford full-time employees.

I incorporated my company in New Jersey in 2002. Full-time self-employment has let me buy a home and raise a family by doing work for multiple companies at once. I have been able to establish a niche occupation that otherwise would not have existed, and manufacturers seek me out to help grow their sales as a result.

Why I’m worried about S863 (formerly S4204/A5936): This proposed legislation would simply force my clients to hire other independent sales reps outside of New Jersey. I would lose all my clients and all my income and destroy the company I’ve built over the last 18 years.

In addition, my wife is a freelance business writer who will also lose her income if this legislation passes. It’s conceivable that we would have to relocate outside of New Jersey.

What lawmakers need to understand: I’m not Uber. I’m a professional independent sales rep who is paid strictly on commissioned sales, a job that supports my family, benefits my clients and enables me to pay my considerable taxes. All of this will be lost if this legislation proceeds. It will benefit no one!