An administrative law judge ruled April 18 that an agency called Jersey Shore Reporting is not liable to pay unemployment or temporary disability taxes for its court reporter employees in 2010. That was the year a state law was enacted to exempt court reporters from being classified as employees, but the Department of Labor and Workforce Development contended that the exemption does not apply to Jersey Shore.

Before 2010, the services of court reporters were exempt under New Jersey’s Unemployment Compensation Law (UCL) if they were designated as exempt under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) or if they could pass the ABC test. To be considered an independent contractor under the ABC test, the worker must be free from the employer’s direction on how to perform the work, must do the work outside the company’s usual course of business and off of its premises, and the worker must be customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation or profession.

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