The Department of Labor (DOL) and its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Nebraska Department of Labor 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, according to a statement.

The WHD is working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and 33 other 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, and creates losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds, the agencies said.