The United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it signed an agreement with South Dakota to share information and conduct joint investigations. The news brief stated:
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding intended to protect employees’ rights by preventing their misclassification as independent contractors or other non-employee statuses. The two agencies will provide clear, accurate, and easy-to-access outreach to employers, employees, and other stakeholders, share resources, and enhance enforcement by conducting joint investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.
Background: The division is working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and 29 other states to combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get the wages, benefits, and protections to which they are entitled. Labeling employees as something they are not – such as independent contractors – can deny them of basic rights such as minimum wage, overtime and a host of other benefits. Misclassification also generates substantial losses to the federal government and state governments in the form of lower tax revenues, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.
More information on misclassification and the effort are available at http://www.dol.gov/misclassification/.
Quotes: “The Wage and Hour Division continues to attack this problem head-on through a combination of a robust education and outreach campaign, and nationwide, data-driven strategic enforcement across industries,” said David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “Our goal is always to strive toward workplaces with decreased misclassification, increased compliance, and more workers receiving a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
David Weil, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Administrator
“South Dakota is committed to both protecting workers’ rights and providing a fair business environment for our state’s employers,” said South Dakota Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “Our partnership with the Wage and Hour Division will increase proper classification of workers.”