North Carolina Establishes New Office to Investigate Employee Misclassification

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

August 15, 2017

North Carolina employers will soon operate under the watchful gaze of a new government subagency whose sole mission will be to combat employee misclassification.

A bill signed into law August 11 will create a new Employee Classification Section within the North Carolina Industrial Commission, effective December 31. This new subagency will "[i]nvestigate reports of employee misclassification and coordinate with and assist all relevant State agencies in recovering any back taxes, wages, benefits, penalties, or other monies owed as a result of an employer engaging in employee misclassification," among other duties.

"This law is an important step in helping workers who are treated unfairly as independent contractors when they are actually employees, and by leveling the playing field for companies who are obeying the law and doing things the right way," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

A notice that all workers will be treated as employees unless they are independent contractors under state law and information on how to report suspected misclassification to the new Employee Classification Section also will be added to North Carolina's workplace wage and hour poster.