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Wage and Hour Division
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Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors

The misclassification of employees as independent contractors presents one of the most serious problems facing affected workers, employers and the entire economy.

Misclassified employees often are denied access to critical benefits and protections they are entitled to by law, such as the minimum wage, overtime compensation, family and medical leave, unemployment insurance, and safe workplaces. Employee misclassification generates substantial losses to the federal government and state governments in the form of lower tax revenues, as well as to state unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation funds.

The DOL Misclassification Initiative


The Wage and Hour Division is working with the IRS and many states to combat employee misclassification and to ensure that workers get the wages, benefits, and protections to which they are entitled. We have entered into partnerships with 37 states to work together on this issue in a variety of ways – through, for example, information sharing and coordinated enforcement – to ensure that we are all using our resources most effectively and efficiently to address this significant problem. In some cases, these agreements include the cooperation of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the Office of the Solicitor.

Select a state from the interactive map to view state information and that state’s agreement with WHD.


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