Mislabelling workers as contractors
More good work from New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse, Investigating Mislabeling Workers:
Gov. Eliot Spitzer is planning to step up enforcement against thousands of companies that illegally misclassify workers as independent contractors to cheat on taxes and skimp on employee benefits, the state labor commissioner said yesterday.
The commissioner, M. Patricia Smith, said the Spitzer administration was focusing on misclassification because it costs the state a significant amount in unemployment insurance taxes and workers’ compensation premiums while denying many workers overtime pay.
“We are developing a plan to address this law-breaking practice, which has been left unchecked for 12 years,” Ms. Smith said. She refused to disclose details because the administration has not finished developing the enforcement plan.
In February, researchers from Cornell University issued a report saying that 704,000 of the seven million private-sector workers in New York State were misclassified as independent contractors and that as a result the state was being shortchanged $175 million in unemployment insurance taxes each year. [NYT]
It's nice to see that Spitzer is keeping up the committment he showed as Attorney General to combating abuses against workers in our state.