Three More States Pair Up With US Department of Labor to Enforce Employee Classification Laws

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

September 12, 2016

Three states - Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nebraska - recently teamed up with the US Department of Labor (DOL) to prevent the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

The partnerships are part of DOL's Misclassification Initiative, whose stated goal is to "combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get the wages, benefits, and protections to which they are entitled."

The DOL said it will work with state labor agencies to:

  • Provide clear, accurate and easy-to-access outreach to employers, employees and other stakeholders;
  • Share resources; and
  • Enhance enforcement by conducting coordinated investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.

In addition to Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Nebraska, 31 other states already have partnered with the DOL, although the California and Iowa partnerships have since expired. (California's Department of Industrial Relations is "in ongoing discussions with the US Department of Labor on how to fine tune [their] memorandum," spokeswoman Erika Monterroza told XpertHR; Iowa's Division of Labor did not respond to a request for comment.)

The DOL has previously said its enforcement efforts are intended to "level the playing field" for responsible employers, noting that "misclassification can create economic pressure for law-abiding business owners, who often find it difficult to compete with those who are skirting the law."