By Scott Braddock
January 23, 2015
A report from a bipartisan panel of Texas lawmakers says companies that pretend their employees are independent subcontractors are undermining free markets and encouraging illegal immigration, among other serious problems. The practice of worker misclassification happens when an employer intentionally skirts the law by paying workers as independent subcontractors when they meet the legal definition of employees and should be paid as such.
Preventing workers from being paid as employees denies them basic protections and costs taxpayers millions each year because employers are avoiding payroll taxes on that labor. Employers who follow the law are investing in a sustainable workforce, which is undermined by worker misclassification. Many of those ethical employers have urged lawmakers to do more to contain what they’ve called “a cancer” in the heart of the construction industry.
So, the Texas House Business and Industry Committee this past year took an in-depth look at the issue, including testimony from construction industry leaders, labor advocates and others who are united in combating misclassification.