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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [04/22/2010]
Contact Name: Dolline Hatchett or Joe DeWolk
Phone Number: (202) 693-4676
Release Number: 10-0541-NAT

Statement of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on introduction of legislation regarding issue of misclassification

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on the introduction of legislation regarding the issue of misclassification:

"I applaud Sen. Brown and Rep. Woolsey for their efforts to address this significant and troubling issue. One of my goals as secretary of labor is to secure minimum and overtime wages and to help middle class families remain in the middle class. Working on the issue of misclassification is key to attaining those goals because misclassification of employees as independent contractors deprives employees of critical workplace protections and employment benefits to which they are legally entitled. I look forward to working with the Congress to address the important issue of misclassification of workers.

"The Department of Labor is working with the Vice President's Middle Class Task Force and the Department of Treasury on a multi-agency initiative to develop strategies to address this issue. The administration's budget request for fiscal year 2011 includes $25 million for the Department of Labor as part of this initiative, including $12 million for increased enforcement of wage and overtime laws in cases where employees have been misclassified. The Wage and Hour Division is currently considering how to best target its FY 2011 enforcement efforts and is emphasizing misclassification in its ongoing FY 2010 enforcement strategy. The department is also exploring all possible options for addressing this problem, including ways to provide better guidance to both workers and employers, and to increase information sharing between Department of Labor agencies and the states that are also working on this issue."