In a previous California employment lawyers blog entry, our Howard Law, PC attorneys discussed California Governor Jerry Brown's recent approval of Senate Bill 459, a bill that enacts stiff penalties on companies and employers who willfully engage in employment misclassification.
In similar employment misclassification news, California Representative Lynn Woosley (D-CA) recently introduced the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act of 2011 (EMPA), H.R. 3178--a bill Woosley originally co-sponsored last year, that aims to stop the illegal employment practices undermining California employees and the right to fair competition in the California workplace. Woosley stated that this act is also important in the federal government's effort to pay down the national debt, as well as playing a key role in invigorating the national economy and empowering U.S. workers.
Employee misclassification, as our Costa Mesa labor and employment attorney blog has frequently discussed, is a growing and unfair workplace practice that robs workers of important employee rights, benefits and protections, like overtime payments and minimum wage, workers' compensation, family and medical leave, rest breaks and meal periods, among other employee benefits. Employee misclassification also places honest employers at a competitive disadvantage in business, leaving taxpayers to deal with the problem.
Woosley introduced the bill, joined with California Representative George Miller (D-CA), and New Jersey Representative Rob Andrews (D-NJ). Representative Miller stated that employee misclassification is unfair to employers who obey labor and employment laws, and unfair to the workers who are stripped of their legal rights to receive basic employment protections like overtime payment, minimum wage and the right to organize. Representative Andrews discussed the importance of ensuring that working employees are given their rights, without unfair employers lining their own pockets with unpaid payroll taxes. Woosley reinforced the fact that working Americans deserve to be given their legal rights in the workplace and should not be taken advantage of at a time when this country is experiencing one of the worst economic downturns in years.
In April of this year, as our Riverside employment lawyers reported, Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), introduced the Payroll Fraud Prevention Act, a revised version of the 2010 Employment Misclassification Prevention Act. Under the Payroll Fraud Prevention Act, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) would be expanded, requiring employers to keep accurate classification records of each worker performing services and labor for the company. The company would also be responsible for providing detailed explanations about worker classification status--such as why an individual qualifies as an independent contractor or employee. The bill would also charge employers who willfully engage in employment misclassification with committing payroll fraud--for trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
Last month the U.S. Department of Labor and the IRS also announced the launch of a jointly signed departmental memorandum--that aims to combine efforts to eliminate employment misclassification in U.S. businesses. The IRS has estimated that employment misclassification costs the federal treasury around $2.7 billion per year in unpaid tax revenue. The General Accountability Office reports that at least 10 million employees across the country are either correctly or incorrectly classified, and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that around 30 percent of companies throughout the country misclassify employees.
Contact Howard Law, PC in Orange County, California today, so we can discuss your labor and employment rights in California. Call toll-free today for a free consultation, at 1-800-872-5925.
Woolsey Introduces Bill to Stop Employers who Cheat Workers and Taxpayers, Congresswoman Lynn Woosley Press Release, October 14, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Related Blog Posts:
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