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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (H.R. 5107, S. 3254)

Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (H.R. 5107, S. 3254)


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Core Provisions: This legislation would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to strengthen enforcement and penalties for misclassification of employees as independent contractors. 

The bill creates new record-keeping requirements and requires employers to provide notice to employees and those classified as non-employees (1) of their classification, (2) that their rights to “wage, hour, and other labor protections” depend upon proper classification, and (3) directing them to the Department of Labor for further information about the rights of employees.  Failure to keep the required records or provide the required notice would create a rebuttable presumption that an individual who is remunerated for the performance of labor and services by an employer is an employee of that employer.

The legislation would impose civil penalties of up to $1,100, or up to $5,000 for repeated or willful violations, for each misclassification or violation of the record-keeping or notice provisions. If a misclassification accompanies violations under the FLSA’s maximum hours or minimum wage requirements, a worker could recover double his or her liquidated damages.

The legislation would also require state unemployment insurance agencies to conduct auditing and investigative programs to detect employers that misclassify or fail to properly report compensation to workers with the effect of excluding employees from unemployment compensation coverage. Additionally, the legislation would require the DOL to target industries it determines to have frequent incidence of misclassifying workers for audits.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis issued a statement supporting the bill and affirming the DOL’s committing to targeting worker misclassification.

Status: H.R. 5107 was introduced by Rep. Woolsey (D-CA) on April 22, 2010, and referred to the House Committees on Education and Labor and Ways and Means.  S. 3254 was introduced by Sen. Brown (D-OH) on April 22, 2010 and was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  Both the House and Senate introduced similar bills in the 110th Congress, but both bills failed to make it out of committee.