Officials from the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Florida Department of Revenue have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the goal of protecting the rights of employees by preventing their misclassification as independent contractors or other non-employee statuses.
Under the agreement, both agencies will share information and coordinate law enforcement. The MOU represents a new effort on the part of the agencies to work together to protect the rights of employees and level the playing field for responsible employers by reducing the practice of misclassification, according to the announcement of the agreement. The Florida Department of Revenue is the latest state agency to partner with the Labor Department.
In Fiscal Year 2013, WHD investigations resulted in more than $83,051,159 in back wages for more than 108,050 workers in industries such as janitorial, food, construction, day care, hospitality and garment. WHD regularly finds large concentrations of misclassified workers in low-wage industries, the DOL says.
“Misclassification deprives workers of rightfully-earned wages and undercuts law-abiding businesses,” said Dr. David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “This memorandum of understanding sends a clear message that we are standing together with the state of Florida to protect workers and responsible employers and ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.”
Memoranda of understanding with state government agencies arose as part of the DOL’s Misclassification Initiative, with the goal of preventing, detecting and remedying employee misclassification. Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Utah and Washington state agencies have signed similar agreements.
To help employers classify their workforces properly, Personnel Concepts has prepared a comprehensive Worker Misclassification Prevention Kit. Get yours today.