From Lexology, Michael L. Stevens and Karen S. Vladeck report that Virginia has become the 31st state to sign an agreement with the United States Department of Labor to collaborate to address the misclassification of workers. Michael and Karen write:
On June 16, 2016, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) became the 31st state agency to sign a Partnership Agreement with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the misclassification of independent contractors. By signing the Agreement, DOL and VEC will now collaborate in providing employers with compliance information and coordinating investigations. The Agreement is part of DOL’s broader national mission to decrease misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
The stated purpose of the Agreement is to establish a “collaborative relationship to promote compliance with laws of common concern” between DOL and Virginia concerning independent contractors. The Agreement describes the goal of the two agencies as “providing clear, accurate, and easy-to-access outreach to employers, employees, and other stakeholders and of sharing resources and enhancing enforcement by conducting coordinated investigations and sharing information[.]” The Agreement provides for VEC and DOL to (1) “conduct joint investigations periodically in the Commonwealth of Virginia”; (2) “coordinate their respective enforcement activities and assist each other with enforcement”; and (3) “make referrals of potential violations of each other’s statutes.” In other words, by entering into the Agreement, VEC is agreeing to assist DOL with investigations related to the misclassification of independent contractors, to provide training regarding the same to employers in the state, and to work with DOL on enforcement of such laws as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Davis-Bacon Act, and the Service Contract Act.