Imagine going to work and doing your best for weeks, months or even years on end. Then, you have an accident. It's only then you find out that your employer wasn't legitimate; they had never gotten workers' compensation insurance. If you have a work accident, it's important to know that you'll be covered. That's what a council is attempting to make sure of for landscapers in New Jersey.
Previously, landscapers didn't need to register with the township. They didn't even have to acknowledge getting information from the state. That's about to change, and it could prevent you from being taken advantage of at work. Now, commercial landscapers have to acknowledge receipts of a copy of Princeton's leaf, branch and law program, along with the information on New Jersey State wage hour laws. Workers' compensation insurance laws are also part of the paperwork that companies need to receive.
Registration is now being required annually. Registration can also be revoked, unlike before where landscapers might have been able to get away with being unaccountable. This change has been pushed through as a way to prevent wage theft. Five landscapers testified that they had wages stolen out of their pockets. There were 20 landscapers who showed up at the proceedings, all with the same problems. One owner of a landscaping company said he wants the new law in place. It will hold competitors accountable and force them to pay fair wages. It will prevent undercutting costs, too.
If employers aren't paying, can you be sure that they are insured? If you aren't certain, it may be time to seek legal representation and discuss your case with someone who can help.
Source: Princeton Patch, "Council Passes Resolution Mandating Landscaper Registration" Anthony Bellano, Jul. 15, 2014