Port Drivers Reach $5 Million Settlement in Misclassification Suit

July 15, 2016

A class-action lawsuit representing nearly 400 Southern California port truck drivers has resulted in a $5 million settlement agreement with port trucking company group QTS, ending the three-year- long suit.

The lawsuit was brought by the Wage Justice Center and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles on behalf of Latino and Korean-American port truck drivers who claimed that they had been misclassified as contract workers in order to cheat them out of the wages and benefits granted to full employees.

This is the latest in a longstanding dispute between many port truck drivers serving the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the port trucking companies who classify drivers as independent contractors. Most recently, Premium Transportation Services filed, blaming its financial troubles on driver misclassification lawsuits and legal costs. QTS was also in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings during the lawsuit.

(Read More)

Independent Contractor Misclassification: A Rising Tide

Joeseph E. Vaughan & Thomas R. Bond, The Legal Intelligencer
July 21, 2016

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series.

The U.S. Department of Labor has recognized the misclassification of employees as independent contractors as one of the most serious problems facing affected workers, employers and the entire economy. This agency points out on their website that the employment relationship between workers and the businesses receiving the benefit of their labor has fissured apart as companies have contracted out, or otherwise shared activities to be performed by other businesses. This is accomplished according to this agency through the use of subcontractors, temporary agencies, labor brokers, and franchising, licensing, and third-party management. This sharing may lead to the misclassification of employees as independent contractors in a variety of ways, such as employers simply mislabeling certain employees as independent contractors to reduce payroll course.

The Department for Professional Employees, a part of the AFL-CIO, maintains that employer misclassification of employees as an independent contractor is a widespread phenomenon in the United States. They note that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that employers have misclassified millions of workers nationally as independent contractors.

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City of Berkeley Enacts First of Its Kind Wage Theft Prevention Ordinance

By Valerie Gotten – Jul 20, 2016

BERKELEY, Calif. /California Newswire/ – Last night, the City of Berkeley approved a first-of-its-kind local ordinance aimed at preventing wage theft on local construction projects, Smart Cities Prevail announced today.

Authored by Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, co-sponsored by a majority of the Council and supported by construction industry trade associations and workers’ rights groups, the measure requires that developers and builders certify that all contractors performing work on large projects have complied with state wage and hour laws as a condition of winning a certificate of occupancy from the city.

“Enforcing wage laws is especially difficult in the construction industry, because unscrupulous contractors who cheat workers in order to win bids on large projects find ways of disappearing after the work is done,” said Smart Cities Prevail Policy Director Scott Littlehale. “By expanding transparency and accountability BEFORE a project is complete, Berkeley has taken an important step towards preventing wage theft and leveling the playing field for honest construction businesses competing for this work.”

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New York Establishes a Super IC Misclassification-Plus Task Force

July 21 2016
Richard J. Reibstein

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 159 expanding the existing Joint Enforcement Task Force on Employee Misclassification into a Joint Enforcement Task Force on Worker Exploitation and Employee Misclassification. Those who follow IC misclassification developments in all 50 states, such as the publishers of this legal blog, were wondering why the annual Task Force Report issued by New York each February 1 for the past eight years had not yet been issued this year. Executive Order No. 159 tells us why – New York has now subsumed IC misclassification into a subset of “worker exploitation.”

Analysis of the New Executive Order

The Executive Order issued in 2007 establishing the Employee Misclassification Task Force required the Task Force to issue an annual report each February 1; this new Executive Order, however, has no such reporting requirement. Nonetheless, simultaneous with the issuance of Executive Order No. 159, the new and expanded Task Force issued its 2016 Report.

The Executive Order recites in its Preamble the reasons for the Governor’s action, and includes the statement that “an increasing number of employers in New York improperly classify individuals they hire as ‘independent contractors,’ even when those workers should be legally classified as ’employees’ . . . .” Neither the Executive Order nor the 2016 Task Force Report, though, provide any empirical data or basis on which the Executive Order based its conclusion that more and more employers in New York are either classifying workers as independent contractors or, more to the point, are misclassifying employees as ICs.

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Registration now open – 18th Annual NAFC Conference – San Diego, CA – Oct. 17 – 19, 2016

July 6, 2016

NAFC will be holding its Annual Conference in San Diego, CA this year. The Conference will be held at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa on Mission Bay, just outside downtown San Diego. This year’s Conference will be jointly sponsored by the Center for Contract Compliance and will have both a national and California state specific focus. The NAFC National Conference is attended by several hundred participants from across the nation, including representatives from labor organizations, fair contractors, fair contracting compliance organizations as well as researchers, academics, attorneys and officials from federal, state and local governments.

Register today, spaces are limited.

(Visit NAFC’s Conference Page)

(Download your registration form here)

USDOL Prevailing Wage Seminars for 2016

Join us at a Prevailing Wage Seminar in your region!

The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Prevailing Wage Seminars (Prevailing Wage Seminars) are three-day compliance trainings designed for regional stakeholders (unions, private contractors, state agencies, federal agencies and workers). In these seminars, conference participants will learn about the following:

  • The Davis-Bacon Act and McNamara O’Hara Service Contract Act
  • Executive Order 13495 “Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers”
  • Executive Order 13658 “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors”
  • The process of obtaining wage determinations and adding classifications
  • Compliance assistance and enforcement processes
  • The process for appealing wage rates, coverage, and compliance determinations


There is no fee to attend these seminars; however, space is limited. If you wish to attend, please click on the registration link for your desired location and follow the registration prompts. Each attendee must register separately. If registration is not yet open for the event you wish to attend, please check back. Please feel free to email WHDPWS@dol.gov if you have any questions.

Date Location
August 23 – 25, 2016 Portland, OR

For more information regarding the upcoming prevailing wage seminars, as well as information on the DBA and SCA visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/govcontracts or call the Wage and Hour Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

(Click Here to Register)


WHD News Brief: 06/01/2016
Release Number: 16-1055-NAT
Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation

Partnership description: 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.

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

(Read More)

Protect MO Families launches prevailing wage campaign

The Missouri Times
June 24, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Committee to Protect MO Families started a new public awareness campaign this week to educate middle class families about the prevailing wage as they prepare for attacks similar to right-to-work.

The campaign launched with a video featuring Danny Burlison, a Navy veteran and and Carpenters Union member. The ads will be run throughout the summer.

Protect MO Families also released a study by Dr. Michael Kelsay, an economics professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which explains the benefits of a prevailing wage.

Between online components and in-person meetings and other events, the campaign hopes to educated families and Missourians about the benefits of prevailing wage.

Protect MO Families anticipates attacks on prevailing wage becoming the next battleground in the fight over labor rights that’s already seen right-to-work and paycheck protection legislation be narrowly avoided in upheld vetoes.

(Read More)

(See Full Study Here)

New Responsible Contractor Law website launches (MN)

July 1, 2016

The website is “Responsible Minnesota”.

This website is a public service that will help stakeholders in public construction learn more about the Responsible Contractor Law (RCL), including a list of ineligible contractors based on a record of their past violations. Project owners, construction managers and general contractors should find this website is a good resource for double checking the eligibility status of their contractors.

(Click Here to Visit Website)

Philadelphia’s Tough New Anti-Wage Theft Law Effective July 1

by Timothy McCarthy, Stephanie Peet

Effective on July 1, 2016, the City of Philadelphia’s Wage Theft Law imposes higher penalties for violations than currently are imposed by the state’s anti-wage theft law, provides for a private right of action for alleged violations, and creates the position of Wage Theft Coordinator within the City’s Managing Director’s Office.

While wage theft (typically refers to the intentional non-payment or underpayment of earned wages) is already subject to penalty under Pennsylvania’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (43 P.S. § 260.1 et seq.), Philadelphia’s new ordinance increases employers’ compliance obligations and potential penalties for violations.

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law the City’s first anti-wage theft ordinance (“Wage Theft Law”) on December 1, 2015.

(Read More)