About The New NJ Vaccine Call Center
Today, New Jersey launched the COVID-19 vaccine hotline that is staffed 12 hours a day.
The line is aimed at helping to answer questions about appointments and registration. The State’s toll-free vaccination hotline (855-568-0545) is available to assist callers with identifying if they are currently eligible for vaccination, pre-register for the vaccine, and help them identify locations nearest to them where they can get vaccinated.
The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day and can help callers in more than 240 different languages.
Due to limited vaccine supply, appointments continue to be limited and will not be immediately available for callers. As appointments become available in NJVSS the call center agents will be fully trained and ready to assist with scheduling.
In the near future, call center agents will also be able to assist callers in looking up registrations, scheduling appointments, and editing appointments in NJVSS.
NOTE: Callers will have to contact vaccination sites directly for support in making appointments for sites that are not using the State’s scheduling system (NJVSS). Call center staff only have the capability of registering and scheduling users in NJVSS.
Is there any help available if I have a problem registering for the vaccine with the NJ Vaccine Scheduling System?
If you experience an error or need support with the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System, you can:
- Complete an online form at covid19.nj.gov/vaccinehelp
- Call 855-568-0545 for automated phone support
Note: Due to high call volumes, callers are experiencing long wait times. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. New Jerseyans seeking help can also use covid19.nj.gov/vaccinehelp
About The New NJ Vaccine Call Center Today, New Jersey launched the COVID-19 vaccine hotline that is staffed 12 hours a day. The line is aimed at helping to answer…Learn More →
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Jan. 7, 2021 — Today, North America’s Building Trades Unions’ (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey released the following statement applauding the announcement of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as President-elect Joe Biden’s intended nominee for U.S. Secretary of Labor:
“North America’s Building Trades Unions applaud Mayor Marty Walsh on being nominated to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor. This son of immigrants started his career working as a laborer in all of the elements – blazing heat, freezing cold, rain and snow – coming home each night, having to get out of his work clothes outside so he didn’t drag mud through the house. Recognized from the start as a natural leader, Walsh was asked by his coworkers to speak on their behalf. Always civically engaged, he was recognized by his community and asked to speak on their behalf as a state legislator. Recognized as a strong and objective leader by the trade union movement, he was asked to speak for them as head of the building trades in Boston.
“In these roles, Mayor Walsh always looked to level the playing field for all communities, especially communities of color, women, immigrants, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated. He tilled the soil so they could have their shot at the middle class through training and skillsets taught in apprenticeship readiness programs that he developed and on to Registered Apprenticeship. The residents of Boston recognized this exceptional leadership; they wanted him to speak for them, and he has, as two-time elected and current mayor. Now, recognized by President-elect Biden as a talented, smart, tough advocate for the American dream for all – always pulling people up, never tearing them down – Mayor Walsh will continue creating pathways and ladders of opportunity for anyone that wants a chance to succeed in America’s workforce.
“Mayor Walsh is the exact right choice for Labor Secretary at this time in our country’s history. We are confident that Mayor Walsh will continue creating pathways of opportunities for anyone that wants a chance to succeed in America’s workforce. He is also keenly aware of the perils of health and safety facing workers in this country. He will make sure that America’s workers get the proper training and that America’s employers, in partnership, follow the rules so that workers arrive home after work in the same condition as they headed off to work in the morning.
“There is no better decision for U.S. Labor Secretary that President-elect Biden could have made than somebody who has been there, done it, with unquestioned leadership, accessibility, and vast executive experience. America’s employers will be well served with Mayor Walsh as Labor Secretary, and all of America’s workers – black, white, brown, women, men, gay, straight, and transgender – will recognize that, for the first time in decades and decades, the U.S. Labor Secretary will speak for them at the worksite, in the halls of Congress, in the c-suites, at the Roosevelt room in the White House and in the Oval Office when the President convenes the Cabinet.
“Our heartiest congratulations to Mayor Walsh on his nomination, and to the American workforce for their voice, their spokesperson, their advocate, and their Labor Secretary.”
Press Contact: Betsy Barrett, [email protected], 202-756-4623 | 202-997-3266
About NABTU: North America’s Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 national and international unions in the building and construction industry that collectively represent over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $1.6 billion in private-sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America that produce the safest, most highly trained, and productive, skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world. NABTU is dedicated to creating economic security and employment opportunities for its construction workers by safeguarding wage and benefits standards, promoting responsible private capital investments, investing in renowned apprenticeship and training, and creating pathways to the middle class for women, communities of color and military veterans in the construction industry. For more information, please visit www.nabtu.org.
For Immediate Release WASHINGTON, DC – Jan. 7, 2021 — Today, North America’s Building Trades Unions’ (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey released the following statement applauding the announcement of Boston Mayor…Learn More →
Due to an overabundance of Apprenticeship applications and COVID-19 restrictions, we will be suspending the acceptance of new Apprentice applications until further notice.
Due to an overabundance of Apprenticeship applications and COVID-19 restrictions, we will be suspending the acceptance of new Apprentice applications until further notice.Learn More →
Building on ongoing efforts to safeguard New Jersey’s frontline workforce, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 192, providing mandatory health and safety standards to protect all New Jersey’s workers at work during the pandemic.
The executive order will take the following actions:
Workplace health and safety standards to cover all NJ workers
The executive order will require both private and public sector employers to follow health and safety protocols that will serve to protect their in-person workforces. The Order mandates that as of 6:00 a.m. on November 5th, all employers, at minimum, require individuals at the worksite to maintain at least six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible and require employees and visitors to wear masks when entering the worksite, subject to certain limited exceptions.
Other protocols require employers to:
- – Provide approved sanitization materials to employees and visitors at no cost to those individuals;
- – Ensure that employees practice hand hygiene and provide sufficient break time for that purpose;
- – Routinely clean and disinfect all high-touch areas in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines;
- – Conduct daily health checks, such as temperature screenings, visual symptom checking, self-assessment checklists, and/or health questionnaires, prior to each shift, consistent with CDC guidance;
- – Exclude sick employees from the workplace and follow requirements of applicable leave laws; and
- – Promptly notify employees of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite.
Collaborative enforcement mechanism to address complaints
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) will support the Department of Health’s efforts to address worker complaints from their employers. NJDOL’s roles will include establishing an intake form on the NJDOL website to receive complaints and developing an investigation and inspection protocol to review complaints.
Training program to inform workers of their rights and to encourage employer compliance
The executive order also directs NJDOL to provide compliance and safety training for employers and employees. The department will provide materials to inform workers of their rights and businesses of their obligations as well as coordinate with workforce training partners to create and provide training.
TRENTON Building on ongoing efforts to safeguard New Jersey’s frontline workforce, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 192, providing mandatory health and safety standards to protect all New Jersey’s…Learn More →
New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks Murphy, Asaro-Angelo, Norcross for protecting workers as COVID cases increasePosted OnNovember 4, 2020 by
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks and praises Gov. Philip D. Murphy and state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo for forging mandatory workplace health and safety standards for all employers as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the state and nation.
The state labor federation also thanks to our IBEW Brother Donald Norcross, member of Congress from the 1st District, for his continuing advocacy for workers on the federal level, where the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has failed in its duty to protect working men and women doing essential work during the pandemic.
“The Labor Movement has pressed OSHA since the start of the pandemic for emergency safety standards,” Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, said. “Even after the AFL-CIO sued, OSHA did nothing to safeguard the lives and health of frontline workers in every sector of labor. All of these heroes cared for the sick and lonely and kept the economy alive and the supply chain moving by going to work every day despite a deadly virus.
“In workplaces all over New Jersey,” President Wowkanech continued, “essential workers have been doing their jobs without adequate PPE. We’re grateful to Governor Murphy, Commissioner Asaro-Angelo, and Congressman Norcross for stepping up for working families when the federal government would not.”
Murphy’s Executive Order 192 goes into effect Nov. 5. It will require all employers, private and public sectors alike, to keep everyone at a worksite at least six feet apart and to mandate masks for all. Employees must be given health checks daily, and those who are sick should be sent home on leave, as appropriate.
Employers must notify their staff immediately if there is a COVID-19 breakout.
All surfaces and other areas that are touched regularly must be sanitized regularly. Employers also must provide free sanitization materials to employees and visitors, and ensure they all have time to use them regularly.
The Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Health are establishing employer enforcement mechanisms and will inform workers of their rights.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO thanks and praises Gov. Philip D. Murphy and state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo for forging mandatory workplace health and safety standards for all employers as…Learn More →
New Jersey’s Underground Construction Economy: Bring Billions of Dollars Above Ground
Presented by ROI-NJ, Moderated by Tom Bergeron, Editor and Chief Content Officer, ROI.
Panelists from left to right
Kevin Duncan – Professor of Economics at Colorado State University
Richard Tolson – Director, Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Administrative District Council of NJ
John Froonjian – Senior Research Associate, William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University
Darlene Regina – COO, Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey
Danilo Barros – Apprentice Carpenter, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters
John Ballantyne – Executive Secretary/Treasurer, Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters
New Jersey’s Underground Construction Economy: Bring Billions of Dollars Above Ground Presented by ROI-NJ, Moderated by Tom Bergeron, Editor and Chief Content Officer, ROI. Panelists from left to right Kevin…Learn More →
A stated crackdown on misclassification of workers is long overdue.
By: Richard E. Tolson
State legislators recently announced that legalizing marijuana will be decided by voters in a 2020 referendum, leaving a $60 million hole in the state budget proposal Gov. Phil Murphy released earlier this year.
Despite that setback, there is another, less controversial, step state officials can take to collect tens of millions of dollars in revenue: stop wealthy developers from taking advantage of labor laws and outdated regulation and enforcement to increase profit margins by abusing workers.
This issue does not get the attention that marijuana legalization receives, but it is also a matter of social justice and a test of the state government’s desire to tackle structural inequalities. It also has the capacity to help fill the state’s coffers, as a new report from the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University estimates up to $1 billion in illegal construction activity is occurring in our state annually.
Quietly but pervasively, multi-millionaires across the state are using middlemen to break state and federal laws by misclassifying full-time workers as contractors – denying them the basic benefits and rights like healthcare, committing wage theft by paying below the required living wage, establishing illegal work weeks, paying cash and evading taxes – all to increase already record profits from property sales and record residential rents, which have reached an 11-year high.
The tricks add up. The new study by Stockton University conservatively estimated that the developers are robbing tens of thousands of working men and women, keeping them off-the-books or illegally misclassifying them to further enrich themselves. An entire underground economy has been allowed to grow, built on the abuse of workers, for the benefit of multi-millionaires.
To be sure, many developers are decent employers and treat their people fairly and with dignity. But there are still too many that do not. Their behavior is disgusting and it’s long past time to do something about it.
With a new governor, New Jersey is finally beginning to crack down. Gov. Murphy signed an executive order last year creating a task force on the issue, and three subsequent public meetings revealed ample evidence of widespread abuse. Last summer, the Hudson County Board of Freeholders passed a resolution decrying these practices as “not only unconscionable, but illegal.”
These moves represent progress, but more action is required. To put it in football terms, the state needs to go on an 80-yard drive, and they just threw a three-yard pass.
Right now, in Hudson County alone, there are more than a dozen major, major development sites using this illegal business model and cheating workers. And it’s happening across the state as well. There is more we can do to create basic fairness and economic justice and collect all of the tax revenue the state is owed.
Large development and construction companies view the paltry fines the state currently levies as an acceptable cost of doing business, so on the rare occasion they are caught, these abusive actors are comfortable with paying the fines and continuing to cheat workers and taxpayers. These are barnacles on a whale—minor inconveniences. Not only is the state missing out on a good deal of revenue, the current scheme creates no deterrent for bad actors in the industry
The Department of Labor & Workforce Development has recently been given additional tools to take a stronger approach to penalties and license suspensions to protect working men and women. These resources include more investigative and enforcement staff and increased penalties for violations. And the Governor will soon have an opportunity to sign a bill empowering the Department of Labor to issue more Stop-Work-Orders against developers who are unmoved by fines.
All of this progress is a result of the Governor’s Task Force on Employee Classification, which has brought together the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Banking and Insurance as well as the Attorney General’s Office and other Cabinet-level positions.
After years of seeing elected officials at the highest level turn away from the issue of employee misclassification, we are glad to see the beginnings of leadership from Trenton. For the sake of blue-collar workers across the state – and for the sake of New Jersey’s reputation on civil rights and protecting taxpayers – that action must continue and become even more aggressive.
Richard E. Tolson is Director of International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Administrative District Council of New Jersey, Locals 4 & 5, which represents craftworkers in the masonry trades across the state.
A stated crackdown on misclassification of workers is long overdue. By: Richard E. Tolson State legislators recently announced that legalizing marijuana will be decided by voters in a 2020 referendum,…Learn More →
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.Bordentown Training Center – 3281 Route 206, Bordentown, NJ 08505
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.Bordentown Training Center – 3281 Route 206, Bordentown, NJ 08505Learn More →
Public Works Contractor Who Underpaid Employees Agrees to $150K in Back Wages Following Labor Department ProbePosted OnApril 24, 2019 by
TRENTON – An Iselin construction contractor has agreed to pay back wages totaling nearly $150,000 to 13 laborers who claimed they were expected to kick back part of their pay to a crew leader while working on prevailing wage jobs.
Fine Wall Corp. and its principals—Umukant Shah, Mrudula Shah, and Ronak Shah—also agreed to pay $64,699 in penalties and $37,060 in fees, as part of a settlement brokered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) following an investigation. The company was barred from bidding on or engaging in public works projects for three years.
“This investigation is another example of our tireless efforts to ensure New Jersey working men and women are paid properly. Contractors who wish to work on public works jobs especially, should know we will make every effort to root out unscrupulous employers to protect workers and level the playing field for law-abiding contractors,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
Fine Wall had been engaged to work on 15 prevailing wage public works projects in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, and Union counties. As a public works contractor, Fine Wall was required by law to pay its workers the prevailing wage, set locally, for the work they performed. A complaint by three employees who claimed they were being paid less than the prevailing wage rate on multiple public works sites triggered NJDOL’s investigation.
The back wages due to the workers varied, depending on how much each was paid for their hours of work on the prevailing wage jobs, ranging from a high of $52,210 in back pay to a low of $3.56 due. Besides the prevailing wage violations, the investigation also found that several workers were improperly classified for their craft.
This settlement comes on the heels of two recent actions demonstrating NJDOL’s bold new enforcement approach to protect taxpayers’ investment in publics projects. The Wage and Hour Division last month barred two contractors from engaging in public works projects as a result of violations in other jurisdictions, and on March 27, the state Attorney General’s Office obtained a guilty plea and recommended prison time for a public works contractor who acknowledged not paying prevailing wages on a government contract.
TRENTON – An Iselin construction contractor has agreed to pay back wages totaling nearly $150,000 to 13 laborers who claimed they were expected to kick back part of their pay…Learn More →
Trades & Media Digest
TRENTON – Several hundred union carpenters, all wearing shirts with the phrase “Standing up to Tax Fraud” emblazoned on the back, gathered in front of the Internal Revenue Service Building here for a rally to raise awareness to the amount of tax revenue lost every year due to tax fraud occurring in the construction industry.
The rally, strategically scheduled for April 15 – Tax Day – to emphasize the seriousness of the issue, was organized by the Keystone Mountain Lakes (KML) Regional Council of Carpenters and featured several members of the New Jersey Legislature, including Senator Fred H. Madden Jr. (Fourth District) and Senator Troy Singleton (Seventh District), as invited speakers.
“Tax fraud is an attack on the hard working people of this country,” said the morning’s first speaker Bill Sproule, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of KML. “It is estimated that $450 billion dollars in tax revenue is lost every year due to tax fraud. That is money that could go to build schools, infrastructure and provide services for communities.”
Tax fraud is rampant in the construction industry where companies misclassify workers, routinely neglect to pay taxes and fail to follow accepted standards to ensure jobsite safety. A common construction practice is hiring employees off-the-books, calling them independent contractors, paying less than a fair living wage, no overtime and many times without medical benefits or payment of workers compensation premiums. Federal, state and local tax authorities also lose – big time.
In a conversation following the rally, Sproule cited a 2016 Williams J. Hughes Center for Public Policy white paper titled “The Underground Construction Economy in New Jersey” to illustrate the wide-reaching effects of the problem in the Garden State.
“In New Jersey, the underground economy is anywhere from $536 million to $1.2 billion,” Sproule said. “That’s money that’s not being taxed.”
Those numbers just demonstrate activity in the construction industry. Overall, according to the study, the underground economy is estimated to be worth between $7.3 billion and $16.3 billion. Income tax lost to off-the-books employment and misclassified workers totals $20 million. More than $3 million in unemployment insurance goes unpaid.
Singleton, a democrat from Moorestown and a Council Representative with KML, believes enough is enough.
“The people who should be accountable we have to start holding them accountable,” Singleton told the crowd. “What we have to do now is stand up for the worker. We have 80 senators and 80 assemblymen and we all have to stand together and get the job done. Anyone who is not getting the job done doesn’t deserve to have the job. There should be no more money going out the back door.”
Both Sproule and Madden, who is the chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, believe a good first step would be to enforce laws already on the books.
“I believe we should take a hard look at this and call for stronger enforcement of laws we already have in place,” Madden said. “This involves a wealth of lost revenue to the state. We have laws in place with penalties, but those laws are only good if they are being enforced. I believe we should reward people who see fraud going on and report it. It is unacceptable and we have to put it in its place. Then we have to make sure we prosecute these cases.”
Monday’s Day of Action rally was one of nine held on Tax Day. Others were conducted in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh; Baltimore, Washington D.C.; Richmond and Roanoke; and Charleston, West Virginia. More have been scheduled throughout the country over the next couple days. Their purpose is to educate, but also to put pressure on states to root out and prosecute contractors who are committing tax fraud.
Monday’s rally was an important step taken to raise awareness to this critical issue. It won’t be the last.
Trades & Media Digest TRENTON – Several hundred union carpenters, all wearing shirts with the phrase “Standing up to Tax Fraud” emblazoned on the back, gathered in front of the…Learn More →