Culinary researcher, Food media expert, Recipe developer and tester

Liz Tarpy

I do a variety of things in food media, including being a recipe developer, recipe tester, recipe editor and culinary researcher. The variety is one of the reasons I enjoy freelancing. One day, I could be developing recipes for a food brand in my home kitchen, and the next day, I could be assisting a food stylist for a video being filmed in a New York City studio or on location in New York or New Jersey. I also edit recipes for food media outlets, test recipes for cookbook authors and food TV shows, and work in various capacities for food TV shows.

The way I choose to work as an independent contractor is perfect for me. I am “allergic” to corporate settings. I prefer being independent and having freedom.

Working as a freelancer also gives me the flexibility I need to visit my mother, who is in an assisted living facility with dementia. Oftentimes, I take my work with me to do between visits with her, something that most full-time employers would not allow.

What will happen to me if S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) becomes law: My ability to find new clients, especially one-offs or clients that only need my services sporadically throughout the year, will be severely harmed. They’ll look to work with people like me in other states instead.

What I want New Jersey’s lawmakers to do: Please slow this legislation down and take the time to fully understand the impact it’s going to have on all kinds of people. Tell the truth: Until right now, did you even know that independent contractor work like mine exists?


Hector Reyes

I’m retired from law enforcement, and now I work as an interpreter. Various agencies hire me for jobs that last anywhere from one to eight hours.

I enjoy this work, because it lets me have more time to spend with my family. I need to make more money than my pension affords me, as I have just finished putting two sons through college and have another one who is a junior in college. This work allows me to make more money than a regular job would, while at the same time it gives me the flexibility to spend more time with my family than my previous job ever allowed me to do.

What will happen if S863 (formerly S4204/A5936) is enacted: I think it would kill my job, as the various agencies cannot possibly afford to hire so many interpreters as employees. At the very best, it would drive wages down in a remarkable fashion. I would certainly have to leave the state or work exclusively in New York City. I believe it would be worse for interpreters who have small agencies that are made up of themselves and another handful of interpreters who help them from time to time. They would never be able to hire anyone as employees.

What I want lawmakers to know: You appear to be trying to protect some workers, but in attempting to do so, you are destroying the jobs of many others. I believe that a simple look at the negative consequences of this bill, in its current form, should be enough for you to at the very least slow down the process and amend, if not altogether, kill this horribly conceived legislation.