Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

What You Need to Know About the New IC Bills in New York and New Jersey

The threat to the status of independent contractors (ICs) has moved to the East Coast, with new bills recently introduced in New York and New Jersey. In September, California passed a law regulating the status of ICs, but included an exemption for travel agents after serious lobbying efforts from the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and the California Coalition of Travel Organizations (CCTO). This was a huge win for independent agents in the state.

ASTA is already at work on the New York bill, though the state’s legislature is currently out of session, so any developments on the issue will come in January. The bill, according to ASTA, is very similar to the California bill and does not have any exemptions in it, meaning agents in New York who are ICs may have to become full-time employees of the agency they work for or terminate their businesses.

New Jersey also introduced a bill regulating the independent contractor business model. ASTA is calling on travel advisors in New Jersey to “reach out to the State Senate and advocate for an amendment to the bill, which, as it stands, could eliminate the ability for travel advisors to act as independent contractors,” according to a recent Facebook post from ASTA.

The main reason for introducing these bills is to hold companies accountable to classify workers accurately and prevent them from passing on their business costs to taxpayers and workers. By classifying an employee as an IC, companies aren’t obligated to offer health insurance, pension, unemployment obligations and other employee benefits. They can also pay less in taxes. Though these are not reasons why the IC model is so popular and works so well in the travel industry.

ASTA’s success in securing an exemption for agents in California bodes well for New York and New Jersey, as they now have a legal precedent to refer to when stating their case for the new bills.

You May Also Like

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loan Program Could Provide Relief for Travel Agencies

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a disaster loan assistance program, which is currently available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The loan program is only available to small businesses located in a designated disaster area, but as the coronavirus and COVID-19 are affecti

California Bill Becomes Law, Exempting Travel Agents

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5), solidifying the status of independent contractor (IC) travel agents. When it was originally written, A.B. 5 would have required travel advisor ICs to become full-time employees or terminate their businesses. In late August, t

Cruise Sellers Buoyant Over Results of Early Wave

Despite concerns about a slowing economy in 2019, early results from the first three weeks of cruising's Wave season suggest that consumers are still in the mood to spend on their vacation this year. Several agents said business is outpacing or significantly topping their sales from January 2018. "I

How Independent Contractors Are Changing the Face of the Retail Travel Industry

FRAMINGHAM, MA, May 7, 2018 – The Travel Institute today released key findings from its new study, The Changing Face of Travel Agents, which analyzes how agent roles and motivations have changed over the past decade and also identifies key parameters that define successful travel agents. Among the m


comments

1000 characters remaining
Comment as: