Fleet Management

N.J. Governor Vetoes Driver Misclassification Bill

September 09, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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A New Jersey bill attacking the independent contractor model at the ports has been vetoed.
A New Jersey bill attacking the independent contractor model at the ports has been vetoed.

UPDATED--New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has rejected legislation regarding the “misclassification” of some truck drivers in the state as independent contractors rather than employees.

He has issued an absolute veto of A1578/S1450. The bill would have affected the business model regarding owner-operators in port drayage and the package delivery business, according to the New Jersey Motor Truck Association.

Labeled by the group as a “job-killing bill,” the measure would have created a presumption that a work arrangement in the drayage trucking or parcel delivery trucking industries is an employer-employee relationship, unless the party receiving the services can overcome the legal presumption of employment. 

The bill passed earlier this year along party lines, with no Republicans voting for it and several Democrats abstaining, according to NJMTA.

New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski issued a statement in response to the veto of his bill.

"Governor Christie's veto of the Truck Operator Independent Contractor Act, legislation I sponsored to protect truck drivers who are incorrectly treated as contractors rather than employees, is just the latest example of the Governor siding against hard working New Jerseyans," he said. "His veto keeps in place a system that is unfair to workers and unfair to those companies that play by the rules."

"Because of the Governor's veto, unethical companies will continue to skirt the law by gaming the system to avoid paying their fair share of taxes," said Wisniewski. "In doing so, they will also continue to deprive their drivers of Social Security, Medicare, Workers' Compensation and Unemployment benefits."

NJMTA said the law would cause many trucking companies and owner-operators to leave the state -- along with many of their customers.

The bill was backed by organized labor.

The governor's absolute veto means legislation cannot become law unless the Legislature overrides the veto by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of each chamber.

Update adds statement from New Jersey Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski.


  1. 1. Gilbert Garcia [ September 10, 2013 @ 09:19AM ]

    Wish there was more like him with in the FMCSA...
    Regard less of what any one says, a republican is always better than a democrat.

  2. 2. Kangarooman [ September 10, 2013 @ 02:04PM ]

    I wish more drivers would learn to take care of themselves , rather then trying to get laws past. If you want to be a company driver find a company that treats you that way if you want to be O/O do that

  3. 3. Dewey [ September 10, 2013 @ 05:48PM ]

    I was a oo from 1950 to 2012 in that I built a home paid for low 6 figures .Had two daughters go to college without loans there was never any holidays in our house ,No Harleys to miss work to go on a bike ride,I geta nice SS check because I paid into it always had hospitaliion for my family for me to become a co driver I would have to loose my indepence you can do what I did as a oo only buy what you need to live.

  4. 4. Steve Hanning [ September 14, 2013 @ 11:25AM ]

    I was a o/o for ten years and have owned the company for 28 years. I have seen both sides of the fence.This us how it works. You get back what you put in. Its time the American people quite expecting their government, union and employers to "give" them something for nothing. Want more, work more and know the difference between wants and needs. If that doesn't work fir you move to another country.

  5. 5. Kevin J. Reidy [ September 16, 2013 @ 06:27AM ]

    Posters are totally missing what is happening to some of those port drivers. They are *not* being treated as true Owner/ Operators by the drayage firms they are contracted to, they are treated exactly like employees; they are told when to run, how to run, and are not afforded the independence of being an true O/O by the firms they are leased to.

    This is just a way for unethical trucking companies to skirt tax law regarding the contractor vs. employee rule This isn't about forcing contract truckers from becoming employees, it's about giving the port drivers who are O/O's the right to be treated as such.


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