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nj law regarding rights of '1099' employees

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  • nj law regarding rights of '1099' employees

    First of all I'm not the 1099 worker, but I'm curious as to how employers get away with skirting [New Jersey] labor law by having a worker [an uneducated laborer in this case] sign the 1099 form as a condition for having a lousy job. It seems like a farce to call a construction laborer 'a subcontactor' to avoid responsibility when that person is injured on the job -no workman's comp., can't receive unemployment comp. ,or eventually realizes he hasn't been paying into Social Security when he tries to retire. To add insult to injury, this guy is probably paid what his net pay would have been rather than a gross pay amount. Maybe the law allows this sort of thing for a short-term worker, but in this case the guy worked this way for 10 years or more. Thanks for any info.

  • #2
    I can't tell you whether or not any laws were violated by treating this individual as a 1099 subcontractor but if he believes that a violation of the law occurred, then the worker in question should contact NY's Department of Labor and file a complaint.


    • #3
      this sounds so 19th Century

      Thanks for the reply. This person , I forgot to add, is still working albeit with 2 bad knees from dropping a jackhammer on them and not receiving proper medical attention - no coverage- no worker's comp. He also isn't one to make waves and probably never will. I was just interested to see if this is not only common but legal from a boss with little compassion.


      • #4
        too fact sensitive

        can it be done? yes, legally

        is it being done legally? dunno, too fact sensitive.

        What it is it that there are "tests" used by Nj and the feds (they differ slightly) to determine whether a person working for another is on a contract basis or really an employee being disguised as an independent contractor. You may recall the myriad of Microsoft cases where workers for Bill Gates' company alleged that they weren't independent contractors, btu rather employees. I don't know the tests that well, but it involves authority to hire/fire own staff, ability to be "disciplined" by contractor or supervised, uniforms ad badges, and a whole lot of independent judgment. Employees receive orders. Independent contracts don't, but rather are told to complete a project, where they exercise independent judgment over how to best get that project done. As you may already guess, the rub is whther they are exercising independent judgment subject to certain milestone and progress requirements, or whether they're really following orders.

        this person may want to contact the state DOL to open an investigation. However, you mention he's not the type to "make waves", which I take to mean perhaps illegal. If this is so, he might still be able to open an investigation, but I'm not sure if the state still has a policy of not checking immigration status as a prerequisite to its investigation. If the job is union in any way, at the GC level or similar, then they might be able to help the guy out.

        well, good luck to him.

        curt j.


        • #5
          nj law regarding 1099 employees

          No, this worker is not an illegal alien, just an uneducated laborer who signed his rights away to get a job. He's certainly not a subcontractor by any stretch. His boss is someone who obviously takes advantage of this 1099 loophole to pocket extra money and circumvent long standing labor laws. I also forgot to add that he's in a deep hole with the IRS and only got paid the equivalent of net pay--not some tempting gross figure. In short this guy was screwed 9 ways to sunday. Thanks for your interest.