Bills of interest to NJ-IEC that were enacted into law are:
• Public Works Contractors - Senate Bill 4207 makes changes to the apprenticeship requirements for contractors registered under the Public Works Contractor (PWC) Registration Act by impermissibly giving the NJ Commissioner of Labor the ability to determine if a contractor has met all the requirements of the USDOL apprenticeship. If the NJ Commissioner of Labor determines that a contractor has not met all the requirements of a USDOL apprenticeship, he can deny a PWC’s initial registration or its renewal, as well as revoke or suspend the PWC registration. If the NJ Commissioner of Labor makes a determination that a PWC is participating in an apprenticeship program that does not meet the requirements of a USDOL apprenticeship, then he has the ability to deny an initial registration or its renewal, as well as revoke or suspend, the PWC registration of any other contractor participating in that apprenticeship program. Furthermore, the law adds willfully making a false or misleading statement on the public works contractor registration a violation of the PWCR law. Finally, the bill increases the penalty from a mere disorderly persons offense to that plus a fine of between $2,500 and $25,000 and disbarment from being a PWC for three years. Disorderly persons offenses carry a possible jail term of up to six months for the officer or employee who made such statement. It is of dubious legality that the NJ Commissioner of Labor can pass judgement on the USDOL’s standards, but that will be left to an organization or contractor to sue the State of New Jersey to determine. Public Law 2021 c. 423.
• Written Notification to Employees if Tracking Device in Vehicle - Assembly Bill 3950 requires employers to notify employees in writing if the employee uses a company vehicle that has a tracking device in it. Tracking devices include GPS and telephone. An employer who fails to comply will be fined $1,000 for the first offense and $2,500 for all subsequent offenses. The bill takes effect April 22, 2022. Public Law 2021 c. 449.
Increased Penalty for License Lending - Assembly Bill 6150 establishes a civil penalty statutorily for an electrical, plumbing, or HVACR contractor who lends their license or a home improvement or home elevation contractor who lends their registration of not more than $15,000 for the first offense and $25,000 for subsequent offenses. Historically the penalties for license lending have been set by the
licensing boards and varied in amount, but did not normally approach the thresholds here. Public Law 2021 c. 482.
A bill of interest that was not enacted into law:
• Project Labor Agreements for Light Frame Construction - PLA on Light Frame Construction: Senate Bill 2051 regulates residential light frame construction. For many years the Legislature has been
trying to pass legislation banning/regulating light frame construction as a result of events like the
2015 Edgewater fire. One of the provisions of the bill is that any residential light frame construction that has more than two dwelling units, is taller than four stories in height, and is 50 feet above grade plane will require a project labor agreement. If there is one or more affordable housing units in the residential light frame construction project the bill doesn’t apply. Under federal law New Jersey is pre-empted from enacting a PLA in this instance. However, that won’t stop the Legislature. To enforce the federal pre-emption the state must be sued.
• Service Contract Legislation: Senate Bill 4239 requires service contract providers to post a bond calculated at five percent of total annual service contract revenue minus expenses and provide to the Attorney General a comparison of the total amounts collected to total amount paid out annually in service contract revenue. This information will be made public by the Attorney General. As introduced the bill also required service contract providers to provide the Attorney General audited financials that would also be posted on-line. NJ-IEC opposed this provision. In negotiations with the bill sponsor, Senator Nellie Pou (D-Passaic) and the Attorney General’s Office, it was agreed this provision would be deleted. While not enacted last session, the bill is likely to return early in the current session.