New Jersey State Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., has introduced a bill to the State Senate1 that would amend N.J.S.A. 43:21-19, which is the statute that determines eligibility for unemployment benefits.

The sole amendment proposed in the bill is to add this language to the portion of the bill that exempts certain occupations from the definition of “employment”:

(AA) Services performed by an individual who is a public adjuster, licensed pursuant to P.L.1993, c.66 (C.17:22B-1 et seq.), and who is compensated wholly on a commission basis.

I was curious about the bill so I called the Senator’s office to learn more about what prompted the introduction of the bill. Turns out, this bill has been lingering in legislative limbo since 2008. The bill file was said to contain background information, but the aid I spoke with could not tell me why the bill was introduced. Anyone’s guess is as good as mine but it seems like an odd addition to an old law. Ultimately, regardless of the reasons for the bill, it could affect all licensed public adjusters in the state. Whether the effect is bad or good depends on the perspective of the public adjuster. If you’re secure in your employment, then all this bill does is lower your taxes. If you are at risk for losing your employment as a public adjuster, then this bill could cause you some trouble.

The Professional Public Adjusters Association of New Jersey is evaluating this proposed bill and will decide whether it intends to take a position. For more information on the PPAANJ, visit the website
1 Senate Bill No. 741.