In Our Community

Legislation to Guarantee Fertility Services For Patients Undergoing Certain Medical Treatments Passes Committee

In an effort to help preserve the ability of individuals to have children in the future when forced to undergo medically necessary treatment that may cause infertility, Assembly Democrat Gabriela Mosquera have introduced legislation that would require health insurance providers to cover fertility preservation services.

Under current law, health insurance companies are not required to cover fertility services for patients who require medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery that could directly or indirectly damage their reproductive system. The legislation (A-3150) would guarantee insurance coverage for standard services such as gonadal shielding and embryo cryopreservation for patients receiving necessary treatments that might cause infertility.

By taking steps to protect reproductive organs or preserve genetic material, these services would give men and women the chance to have a biological child in the future when they would otherwise run the risk of losing their ability to have a baby.

To ensure coverage for all impacted patients, the bill specifies that these services cannot be denied due to the insured person’s expected length of life, current or predicted disability, perceived quality of life or other health conditions and personal characteristics.

“As a mother, there is nothing in the world I value more than my children. Raising a child is such a rewarding experience,” said Assemblywoman Mosquera (D-Camden, Gloucester). “This legislation will ensure that no one who dreams of being a parent will be denied that opportunity if there is any way for them to do so, regardless of their current health problems.”

The bill passed the Assembly Women and Children Committee and will now go to the Speaker for further consideration.

Assembly Democrats Advance Six-Bill Package to Discourage Misclassification of Employees in NJ

Six measures approved Monday by the Assembly Labor Committee address the unlawful practice of improperly classifying workers as independent contractors, rather than as employees.

The legislation stems from recommendations made by the Governor’s Task Force on Employee Misclassification in July. According to the report, misclassification of employees by employers has increased 40 percent in the last ten years and has become a growing problem throughout the country.

Misclassification not only hurts workers and law-abiding businesses, it also hurts the State. Based on a 2000 U.S. Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) study of misclassification in construction in New Jersey referenced in the report, the failure to properly classify construction employees resulted in state income taxes not being paid for up to $11 million in off-the-books employment and nearly $9 million from employment of misclassified workers.

Assembly members Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex), Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson), Paul Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester), Shanique Speight (D-Essex), Anthony Verrelli (Mercer, Hunterdon), Linda Carter (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union), and Clinton Calabrese (D-Bergen, Passaic), are sponsors of the bills in the package.

The legislation addresses the following concerns:

  • A-5838 (DeAngelo) Concerns stop-work orders related to Misclassification of Employees;
  • A-5842 (Chiaravalloti/Moriarty) Concerns tax data sharing between State Treasury and DOLWD;
  • A-5843 (Speight/Verrelli/Moriarty) Requires employers to post notice for employees on employee misclassification;
  • A-5839 (Moriarty/Verrelli/DeAngelo) Requires employer to pay misclassification penalties if found to have violated State wage, benefit, and tax laws;
  • A-5840 (Carter/Moriarty) Concerns joint liability for payment of employer tax law; and
  • A-5841 (Calabrese/Verrelli)) Creates a new list for employers found in violation.

The sponsors of the bill issued the following joint statement:

“Classifying workers as independent contractors as an alternative to full or part-time employment has been a grossly misused practice of misclassification.

“It hurts employees and their families who do not have access to critical benefits and protections they are entitled to by law, including minimum wage, overtime compensation, family and medical leave and unemployment insurance. It also hurts each of the taxpayers and businesses paying their fair share while others avoid their tax duties.

      “These measures will work in concert to stem the practice of misclassification together with expanding stop work orders beyond those for construction trades and prevailing wage, and requiring tax data to be shared between the state Department of Treasury and Labor to support more comprehensive investigations.”

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Stop the Selling of Consumers’ GPS Location to a Third Party Approved By Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty to protect consumers from having their GPS tracking locations disclosed to third parties by their mobile service providers cleared the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Thursday.

Although personally identifiable information is often stripped from the data prior to sale along with other data such as geo-tracking, a purchaser could determine personal information including names, home addresses, work addresses, and daily routines by examining this information.

“I find it particularly nefarious that mobile service providers can take your location data and sell it to third party companies who then sell it to whoever wants to buy it,” said Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester). “This is private information about your whereabouts, your habits, where you live and when your home.”

The bill (A-5259) would prohibit phone companies from disclosing an individual’s personal global position system and location data to a third party without the customers consent.  The provisions of the bill do not apply to a commercial mobile service provider required to disclose a customer’s GPS data to comply with applicable federal or State law, regulation, law enforcement investigation, legal process, or court order.

The bill would provide that a violation of the bill’s requirements is a violation of the State’s consumer fraud act, which may result in a penalty of not more than $10,000 for the first offense and not more than $20,000 for the second and each subsequent offense.

The legislation will now go to the Speaker for further consideration.

Assemblyman Moriarty Bill to Help Prevent Consumers From Getting Roped into Endless Auto-Renewals Clears Assembly Panel

A consumer protection measure passed by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee Thursday moves New Jersey closer to requiring notification to customers when a contract is to be automatically renewed.

Assembly Democrat Paul Moriarty sponsored the legislation.

The bill (A-1460) would require the seller of a service to disclose an automatic renewal provision clearly and conspicuously in the contract or contract offer. The measure also would require the seller to notify a consumer at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days, before a renewal cancellation deadline.

“Sometimes contracts are entered into a year, or even two years, before the automatic renewal clause kicks in,” said Moriarty (D-Gloucester, Camden).  “This bill will protect consumers by ensuring that they have the opportunity to cancel any unwanted service prior to renewal of an additional term.”

A violation of the bill’s provisions would be an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud Act, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for any subsequent offense. However, the bill also provides that penalties would not be imposed if a seller allows a consumer to cancel the service contract at any time; provides proper notification to the consumer; and refunds the unearned portion of the contract subject to the automatic renewal provision.

The bill now goes to the Speaker for further review.

Assembly Democrats on Bill to Encourage New Jersey Film Industry

In an effort to encourage the burgeoning movie industry in New Jersey, several Assembly Democrats have sponsored legislation to extend tax credits beyond the current program’s scheduled deadline for productions that begin filming before that end date. Bill (A-5580) sponsors Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen), Paul Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Louis Greenwald (D-Burlington, Camden) released the following statement:

“In recent years, we incentivized production companies to film in our state, in order to generate more jobs and revenue throughout New Jersey. Those efforts have been successful in bringing many creative projects to the state.

“As such, we must now offer those companies the consistency and stability they need to film long-term projects that can span over the course of several years, such as successful TV shows that stay on air for multiple seasons. This legislation would help maintain the helpful benefits our state receives from these projects by encouraging companies to continue filming them here.”

Assemblyman Moriarty Introduces Legislation to Stop Hidden Fees in TV Bills

Take a look at just about any cable TV bill, and you will find hidden fees and unexpected charges. According to “Consumer Reports,” an independent, non-profit consumer advocacy group, it costs the average cable customer an additional $450 a year for things like equipment, local sports, and acquisition costs. In almost every case, these are required fees that are not included in advertised prices.

 

Today, Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty introduced legislation to stop hidden and unexpected fees and require cable, satellite, and streaming companies to include the full cost of their services in all advertised prices.

 

According to Assemblyman Moriarty, “If you advertise your service for $79 a month, it should cost $79 a month – not $99.” The legislation has been referred to the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee, and Assemblyman Moriarty is hopeful this legislation will find widespread support in the Legislature: “It’s unfortunate that we need to pass legislation to stop this deceptive type of advertising, but if that’s what we have to do – we will!”