TRENTON, NJ — New legislation passed both chambers of the New Jersey state legislature that would prevent truck drivers from operating as independent contractors. It would establish a presumption that a work arrangement with drayage trucking or parcel delivery trucking is an employer-employee relationship.

The bill awaits signature from the state’s governor, Chris Christie, to be enacted as law.

“The Independent Bakers Association (IBA) strongly opposes this legislation, and we urge all members to share their opposition with Gov. Christie,” said IBA in a statement issued by its president, Nicholas Pyle. IBA encouraged the governor to veto the bill.

IBA noted that businesses could rebut the presumption established by this bill by demonstrating that certain highly limiting conditions exist. “Incorrectly categorizing a truck driver as an independent contractor carries a fine of $1,000 to $2,500,” IBA observed.

In a legislative alert earlier this week, the Snack Food Association decried the bill and urged its defeat. “This legislation would place unnecessary and restrictive burdens on the snack food industry's ability to serve customers in a way that promotes efficiency, job creation and supports the New Jersey economy,” the group stated. “It would severely limit the flexibility of companies' ability to utilize independent contractors and thus drive many jobs and business opportunities out of state.”