By Julian Aguilar
March 15, 2015
Workers’ rights groups in Texas are revamping their efforts to increase protections for low-income laborers by urging lawmakers to crack down on employers that intentionally misclassify their employees.
Misclassifying workers as independent contractors – rather than employees – allows employers to avoid paying payroll taxes, overtime and workers’ compensation. The practice also allows employers to skirt federal law that requires new hires to provide proof that they can work in the country legally.
About 35,000 Texas workers were misclassified between 2010 and 2012, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. That includes 4,300 in the construction industry and 4,100 in the health care and social assistance industries. Those workers’ employers should have paid about $2.4 million to the state’s unemployment insurance fund, according to a report by the Legislative Budget Board.