Orange County Register (California) (02/09/12) Mary Ann Milbourn
The U.S. Department of Labor and California are cooperating and are pursuing companies that misclassify contract workers who should be treated as employees, the DOL and state officials announced Feb. 9. The issue is one of fairness, they said—not only for workers who are being underpaid but also for companies that already comply with the law and therefore are at a financial disadvantage.
“The misclassification of employees as something else, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem, as these employees often are denied access to critical benefits and protections—such as family and medical leave, overtime compensation, minimum wage pay, and unemployment insurance—to which they are entitled,” said a DOL statement. “In addition, misclassification can create economic pressure for law-abiding business owners, who often struggle to compete with those who are skirting the law.”