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Colorado joins DOL in Partnership to Cut Down Illegal Employee Misclassification

December 9, 2011

According to the Denver Post, this week, Colorado joined the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in a joint effort to eliminate employee misclassification in the workplace. This will make Colorado the 11th state join the department in its effort to cut down on employee misclassification.

As Vincent Howard discussed in a recent Howard Law employment attorney blog, employee misclassification is an illegal workplace practice where employers misclassify workers as independent contractors instead of employees--often times to gain an unfair advantage over their honest business competitors by avoiding to pay payroll taxes, along with other important employee benefits.

The executive director of Colorado's Department of Labor and Employment, Ellen Golombek, stated that employee misclassification costs everyone--by destabilizing the business climate and forcing fair businesses to suffer unfair competition.

Workers who are misclassified miss out on important employee rights, benefits and protections, like minimum wage, overtime payments, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, rest breaks, meal periods, and family and medical leave, among other employee benefits.

According to the DOL, in 2010, the Wage and Hour Division got back nearly $4 million in back wages for violations of minimum wage and overtime payments due to employee misclassification. As our Howard Law employment lawyer blog recently reported, according to the IRS, employee misclassification affects around 10 million employees ever year, costing the federal treasury around $2.7 billion per year in unpaid tax revenue. In September, the IRS and the DOL combined forces to combat employee misclassification in the workplace.

Other states across the country that have signed an agreement with the DOL include Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Missouri, Utah, Hawaii, Connecticut, and Washington.

In the State of California, Governor Jerry Brown recently approved Senate Bill 459, a bill that hits California companies and employers who willfully engage in misclassifying employees with harsh penalties. California Representative Lynn Woosley (D-CA) also recently introduced the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (EMPA) of 2011--a reinvigorated bill from last year, that strives to cut down employee misclassification by supporting and empowering hard working employees and honest employers, and according to Woosley could also help to pay down the national debt, and invigorate the national economy.

Howard Law, PC represents employees who have been improperly classified and denied their California employment rights in cities throughout Orange County. Contact our attorneys today, for a free consultation about your employment status.

Colorado joins partnership to crack down on employee misclassification, Denver Post, November 5, 2011

Related Web Resources:

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Related Blog Posts:

EMPA of 2011 Aims to Stop Employee Misclassification, Invigorate National Economy, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 26, 2011

California Representative Lynn Woosley Re-introduces Employee Misclassification Prevention Act, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 24, 2011

CA Governor Jerry Brown Approves Bill to Increase Willful Employee Misclassification Penalties, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 21, 2011

DOL and IRS Combine Forces to Combat Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 26, 2011

New Act to Combat Employee Misclassification and Payroll Fraud, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 4, 2011

Senator Harkin Introduces Payroll Fraud Prevention Act in Congress, California Employment Lawyers Blog, April 28, 2011

NY Governor Signs Employee Misclassification Act into Law, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 29, 2010

New State Legislation Holds Employers Accountable for Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 25, 2010

Missouri Falls Behind Other U.S. States in Identifying Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 13, 2010

Senator Harkin Aims to "Level the Playing Field" to Protect Workers And Businesses from Employee Misclassification, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 23, 2010

California Rep. Lynn Woolsey Fights Employee Misclassification with EMPA, California Employment Lawyers Blog, May 27, 2010