US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM MISCLASSIFICATION

WHD News Brief: 08/04/2016
Release Number: 16-1603-NAT

Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry

Partnership description: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry 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 coordinated investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.

Background: The division is working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and 31 other U.S. 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 basic rights such as minimum wage, overtime and other benefits. Misclassification also improperly lowers tax revenues to federal and state governments, as create losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.

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US DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SIGN PARTNERSHIP TO REDUCE EMPLOYEE MISCLASSIFICATION IN SIX WESTERN STATES

MOU aligns federal departments in effort to ensure full pay, benefits for workers

 

WHD News Release: 08/22/2016
Release Number: 16-1726-DAL

DENVER – Officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help stop the misclassification of workers in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

The first MOU of its kind represents a new effort on the part of the agencies to work together to protect employee rights and level the playing field for responsible employers by reducing the practice of misclassification.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the department’s Wage and Hour Division recovered more than $74 million in back wages for more than 102,000 workers in industries, such as janitorial, food, construction, daycare, hospitality and garment. The division regularly finds low-wage workers are victims of misclassification.

The agreement will help both agencies communicate and cooperate more effectively and efficiently in areas of common interest, including cross training staff and providing employers and employees with information about the law. By doing so, the two agencies seek to protect the wages, safety, and health of America’s workforce by sharing information.

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DOL obtains ‘double damages’ for intentional misclassification

Compensation Management News
August 22, 2016

An employer and its staffing company will pay $1.1 million in back wages and another $1.1 million in damages to resolve U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) findings that they intentionally misclassified workers as independent contractors.

Force Corp., a construction company, created AB Construction to provide it with much of its labor. Force Corp., however, prepared and controlled the payroll and payment procedures for both companies, DOL said in a press release.

During an investigation, the department determined that Force Corp. intentionally misclassified most of its employees to avoid paying them overtime and other benefits. In addition, it used a combination of payroll checks and cash to pay the workers straight time when they should have received overtime pay, DOL said. The department also determined that the employer kept inadequate and inaccurate time and payroll records.

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AZ contractor ordered to pay $48K in worker misclassification case

By Kim Slowey
July 28, 2016

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Department of Labor has ruled that Arizona homebuilder DCO Custom Builders must pay $48,000 in back wages and penalties for misclassifying workers as independent contractors and not paying employees at overtime rates when required – in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to the Arizona Republic.
  • The DOL investigated DCO for two years and ordered the contractor to pay 31 employees $24,255 in unpaid overtime, additional penalty wages and restitution in the amount of $4,604.
  • Despite DCO’s actions, a DOL spokesman said the company is now in compliance with fair labor standards, and DCO managing owner Daniel Osete said the company was unaware it was violating a law and has taken internal measures to make sure the same situation doesn’t happen again.

Dive Insight:

Eric Murray, director of the DOL’s Phoenix Wage and Hour Division office, said misclassifying workers as independent contractors “cheats” employees and taxpayers alike. Murray told the Arizona Republic, “As this outcome shows, we are committed to protecting the rights of construction workers and will use every tool available to hold employers accountable.”

(Read More)

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)

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SIGNS AGREEMENT TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM MISCLASSIFICATION WITH SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND REGULATION

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

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US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, VIRGINIA EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION SIGN AGREEMENT TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM MISCLASSIFICATION


WHD News Release: 06/16/2016
Release Number: 16-1214-NAT
Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Virginia Employment CommissionPartnership description: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Virginia Employment Commission 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 coordinated investigations and sharing information consistent with applicable law.

Background: The division and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service are working with Virginia and 30 U.S. 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 basic rights such as minimum wage, overtime and other benefits. Misclassification also improperly lowers tax revenues to federal and state governments, as create losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.

More information on misclassification and the effort are available at http://www.dol.gov/misclassification/.

US LABOR DEPARTMENT RECOVERS $189K IN WAGES ON BEHALF OF 28 UNDERPAID WORKERS ON FEDERALLY FUNDED MANHATTAN CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

SJ Insulation debarred from future government contracts following joint enforcement effort with New York Attorney General

WHD News Release: 05/25/2016
Release Number: 16-0804-NEW

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $189,000 in unpaid wages and overtime for 28 carpenters and laborers who worked on the federally funded West 131st St. Cluster Project in Harlem between April 2009 and April 2010. This was the result of a joint enforcement effort with the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in which the two agencies shared information and worked collaboratively on behalf of workers in New York. The attorney general’s investigation continues.

“Contractors on federally funded construction projects commit to paying their workers the required wages and fringe benefits when they bid these contracts. When, as in this case, they cheat their workers, they are also cheating the taxpayers who ultimately fund these jobs,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Mark Watson, Jr. “As the resolution of this case demonstrates, we will not tolerate such illegal behavior.”

“We thank Attorney General Schneiderman and his staff for working jointly with us during the prosecution of this case. We have the mutual goals of ensuring that employees in our jurisdictions are paid and treated properly and employers who underpay their workers do not secure an unfair advantage over law-abiding employers,” said Jeffrey S. Rogoff, the department’s regional solicitor in New York.

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ELMWOOD PARK, ILLINOIS, MASONRY COMPANY ORDERED TO PAY MORE THAN $104K IN BACK WAGES, DAMAGES TO 20 WORKERS MISCLASSIFIED AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

WHD News Release: 05/19/2016
Release Number: 16-0876-CHI

Type of Action: Fair Labor Standards Act consent judgment

Defendant(s): Expertize Masonry Inc., Pawel Walaszek

Investigation Findings: An investigation conducted by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found that Elmwood Park, Illinois-based Expertize Masonry Inc., and Walaszek violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping provisions when they misclassified employees working as laborers, masonry workers, crew leaders and foreman on masonry jobs in the Chicago area as independent contractors.

Investigators found the misclassification resulted in workers receiving less than the legally required federal minimum wage, and led to the employer’s failure to pay the workers overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, the employer failed to maintain accurate time records as required by the FLSA.

(Read More)

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

June 7 -9, 2016                Stamford, CT
June 14 – 16, 2016           Albuquerque, NM

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).