Participants: U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division
Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Partnership description: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding intended to protect employees’ rights and level the playing field for employers by preventing worker 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.
Background: The division is working with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and 34 other U.S. 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 lowers tax revenue to federal and state governments improperly, and creates losses for state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.
More information on misclassification and the effort are available at http://www.dol.gov/misclassification/.
Quotes: “The Wage and Hour Division continues to attack this problem head on through a combination of a robust education and outreach, and nationwide, data-driven strategic enforcement across industries,” said Dr. David Weil, administrator of the Wage and Hour Division. “Our goal is always to strive toward workplaces with decreased misclassification, increased compliance, and more workers receiving a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”
“The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission is proud to enter into an agreement that will ensure greater efforts are made to properly classify Oklahoma’s workforce,” said Richard McPherson, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. “Proper classification of workers is vital to maintaining integrity in our workforce and ensuring a more robust business environment for individual workers as well as Oklahoma businesses.”