The Department of Labor (DOL), Wage and Hour Division, continue to enforce the rules concerning the misclassification of workers in many different industries. Businesses continuously outsource activities in order to boost their bottom lines. Subcontractors fall under the outsourcing category which oftentimes causes the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. This merely causes workers to lose valuable and basic protections, such as the right to earn minimum wage and overtime, safety and health protections, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. Employers who follow the laws also lose out when they can’t compete with businesses that are getting ahead by side-stepping the laws.
Misclassification happens in industries such as restaurant dishwashers, cable installers, home care workers and more. Since the DOL’s home care final rule was published two years ago, the department has been helping employers prepare for compliance. The rule has been fully enforced since January 1, 2016 and the DOL are working to ensure that basic wage rights are guaranteed to those they are intended to protect. The blurring of employment relationships shifts risks onto the most vulnerable employees.