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May 2022 - Government Affairs Update

Licensing Law

Recently a NJ-IEC member asked questions regarding changes in the licensing law. EDGE Consulting has previously provided NJ-IEC with an analysis of the law. There have been no changes and there is nothing for contractors to do until the Board of Examiners proposes regulations to implement the law. At that time NJ-IEC will have an opportunity to review the proposal and offer comments.

There has been no agenda item addressing changes in the licensing law at any of the four meetings the Board has had to date in 2022. There are no minutes available yet on line to review for any discussion about the changes in the law.

The Board is only now beginning the process of writing the regulations to the perimeter electric fence bill. This was the bill that NJ-IEC successfully lobbied in 2020 to be amended and have the term branch circuit wiring codified in statute. Previously, it was only defined by regulation. As such, future legislation allowing nonelectrical licensees to engage in certain types of work that might include work within the scope of practice of

licensed electrical contractors would have been permitted.

The next Board of Examiners meeting is June 8, 2022. The agenda is not yet available.

Temporary Help Service Firms

As reported to you on May 5, 2022 Senate Bill 511 was heard in the Senate Labor Committee on Monday May 9, 2022 and released. It may be posted for a vote before the full Senate at any time. The Assembly version, Assembly Bill 1474, will be considered on Thursday May 19, 2022 in the Assembly Labor Committee.

The bills are identical. Senate Bill 511 is sponsored by Senator Joe Cryan (D-Union). Assembly Bill 1474 is sponsored by Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez (D-Middlesex).

These bills regulate how “temporary help service firms” operate. While this impacts the operations of companies like Trade Source and ROI, it also has consequences for “third party client” companies, i.e., those who use these services, like merit shop contractors.

Attached please find a copy of the bill which I highlighted the pertinent aspects that directly impact NJ-IEC contractor members. Of significant concern, beyond all the other new requirements, including record keeping, which merit shop contractors will face, are the following:

 Requirement that temporary laborers with the same “skill effort and responsibility” be paid the same rate of pay and equivalent benefits as the third party client employees. (Section 7c. page 12)

 Requirement that third party clients verify that the temporary help service firm is registered with the NJ Department of Labor. This will likely be able to be done by an Internet search. However, there are penalties’ if the third party contractor engages and the firm isn’t registered or had their registration revoked. (Section 9 page 15)

 Requirement that third party clients are jointly and severely liable along with the temporary help service firm for any violation of various wage laws (Section 9b. page 16)

 Class action liability and fee shifting for third party clients. Six year statute of limitations. (Section 11) Would you like NJ-IEC on record in opposition?

Rehab Code Proposed Changes

See attached proposed revisions to the NJ Rehabilitation Code. Items number 4 and 5 reference electrical matters. Should NJ-IEC wish to comment the deadline is May 20, 2022. Joe Esposito has replied to a prior email with the following comment, “Number 4 has been a problem some inspectors have been requiring that we replace the existing wiring to the stove and dryer where seu cable was used for this exception in the past.”

Increase in Bid Thresholds

On May 12, 2022 Senator Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen) introduced Senate Bill 2620 which increases the contract thresholds before municipalities, schools, cities of the first class (population 150,000 or more), schools in cities of the first class, and counties must publicly bid and advertise the contract.

It is my guess that after the NJ Department of Labor runs merit shop contractors out of doing public works as a result of the changes made to the apprenticeship requirements for public contractors*, this bill will expedite the work for union contractors.

*Waiting on the regulations to be proposed.

BFL License Disclosure in Advertising

On May 12, 2022 Senator Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) introduced Senate Bill 2497. The bill allows FBL licensees to advertise without a license number of the business or individual, so long as the advertisement directs them to a website where the license number of the business and individual are clear and conspicuous.

The Assembly companion, Assembly Bill 4065, will be sponsored by Assemblyman Jim Kennedy (D-Union). The bill summary states the purpose of the bill is to modernize advertising requirements for the FBL industry.

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