From JacksonLewis, James M. McDonnell and Justin B. Cutlip report on proposed legislation in New Jersey that, among other things, would provide benefits to independent contractors affected by the Covid-19 crisis. James and Justin write:
The Fund and Independent Contractors
The establishment of an Epidemic and Emergency Relief Employment Fund would make benefits available to independent contractors. The Fund would be used to reimburse employers for any hours paid due to Earned Sick Leave paid for the reasons above, i.e., in the event of an epidemic.
Any employer who receives such reimbursement, however, may not count any such time against the employee’s 40 hours of earned sick leave for that benefit year. Moreover, the new sections would require an employer to report any self-disclosure by an employee of an absence/claim or earned sick lave related to a communicable disease (or exposure thereto) to the NJDLWD.
Independent contractors would be permitted to file claims for lost earnings from the Fund for the reasons covered under the proposed revisions to the Earned Sick Leave Act (e.g., workplace closures, school closures, and self-quarantines). The independent contractor would have to submit information supporting the inability to work, as well as documentation supporting the claim for lost income. The NJDLWD would base any such benefit payments upon the average weekly earnings from the independent contractor’s prior calendar year.