Dear New Jersey Travel Advisors:

As expected, it looks like the fight over independent contractor (IC) status is moving to New Jersey. We need numbers to fight this cause that can affect as all. A bill was recently introduced in the New Jersey State Senate that threatens the independent advisor model in the State. Similar to Assembly Bill 5 in California, this legislation would implement the so-called “ABC test” to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, with no exemptions at the moment.

There will be a vote in Trenton on this Monday December 16, 2019 we encourage all members to attend. I will send an email when on Friday when the time is posted.

Please read the sample letter below. Copy and paste it to an email and send to the following State Senator and Assemblymen who adopted this legislature.

Senator STEPHEN M. SWEENEY District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

email: sensweeney@njleg.org

Assemblyman JOSEPH V. EGAN

District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)

email: asmegan@njleg.org


District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

email: asmdeangelo@njleg.org


Please include your name address and business name in your email.



Exempt Travel (S4204/A5936) This should be in the subject line of your email.

I am writing as your constituent and on behalf of the more than 2,400 people who work at travel agencies in the State of New Jersey to urge you to amend Senate Bill 4204 and Assembly Bill 5936 to preserve the independent contractor model that has existed in our industry for decades and provides opportunities for thousands of small business owners.

Independent travel advisors – who are primarily women and are all small business owners – are an integral part of the travel industry. They are true entrepreneurs, with the freedom to set their own hours and schedules, set their own rates, select the customers with whom they will work and market their own brands. 

Unlike many large corporate entities in the gig economy, the relationship between travel advisors and the agencies with whom they work is a mutually beneficial and healthy one. According to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), more that 85 percent of independent travel advisors report being very satisfied with their current status. The agencies engaging them pay their fair share of taxes and independent travel advisors make a decent living – the majority of independent advisors work less than 40 hours per week, but 2 out of 7 earn between $25,000 and $50,000 annually while 3 out of 8 earn more than $50,000. 

In its current form, S4204/A5936 puts this system, beneficial to agencies and independent advisors alike, at great risk. According to a survey of its members, ASTA found that if a change in law would require them to become an employee, more than 60 percent of independent advisors would choose to leave the industry or leave the state for one that allows them the flexibility they currently enjoy.

As you consider S4204/A5936, it is critical that it be amended to clearly state that workers engaged to sell travel in our industry will be evaluated under the current “ABC” standard that has been place in New Jersey for many years. When a similar bill (Assembly Bill 5) codifying a more stringent “ABC” test was passed in California, travel advisors received an exemption along with numerous other industries such as insurance agents, physicians, dentists, direct salespersons, real estate agents, barbers, architects and others. I feel strongly that if New Jersey is to follow California in adopting the California version of the ABC test, travel advisors should be exempt here as well.

Thank you for considering my views on this important issue.


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