The Quest
Inside this issue:

Help us with our Hurricane Sandy relief efforts; Risk management tips to help your business

What you need to know about the 2012 Transportation Bill

NVOCC China rider increase effective Nov. 23

New provisions regarding legal disputes for freight forwarders in China

New Jersey seeks to ban companies classifying truck drivers as independent contractors

Customs brokers face increased liability risks under food safety act

CARB Update: Clarification of regulations applicability to customs brokers, freight forwarders and NVOCCs nationwide; new SmartWay regulations

CBP updates ACEopedia
(click here to access)


New Jersey seeks to ban companies classifying truck drivers as independent contractors

An assembly panel in New Jersey has advanced a bill to prevent trucking companies from classifying their drivers as independent contractors.

Under the bill, A-1578, trucking services performed by many individuals in the drayage trucking or parcel delivery industries would constitute employer-employee relationships, not an independent contractor model. Companies could only classify individuals as independent contractors if they prove to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development that all of the following are true:

The individual has been and will continue to be free from control or
   direction over the performance of that service, both under his
   contract of service and in fact.

The service is either outside the usual course of the business for
   which the service is performed, or the service is performed
   outside of all the places of business of the employer for which the
   service is performed, and

The individual is customarily engaged in an independently
   established trade, occupation, profession or business.

If an employer willfully classifies an individual who does not meet the three criteria as an independent contractor, the company would be in violation of the bill and subject to criminal penalties of $2,500 for a first offense. If a worker is misclassified in error, the company could still face up to $1,000 per violation. The bill would also prohibit employers from requesting or requiring individuals to sign documents that would result in their misclassification as independent contractors.

While classifying drivers as independent contractors is common in the trucking and courier industries, doing so remains a hot button issue. You should always consult with an attorney to determine the best business model for your operations and to perform a legal review of your employment contracts.

If you do opt to operate under an independent contractor model, Avalon offers Occupational Accident Coverage for drivers if they are injured while under dispatch. You can offer this plan to help provide a safety net to your drivers. Whether you run a full-sized trucking operation or a delivery company with just two vehicles, Avalon offers the coverage you need.

For more information, please contact your local Avalon office or Andriana Davis at (847) 700-8087 or at adavis@avalonrisk.com. A list of our offices may be found at www.avalonrisk.com/contact.html

Avalon Risk Management


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