Officials of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Alabama Department of Labor have signed a memorandum of understanding to protect the rights of employees by preventing their misclassification as something other than employees, such as independent contractors.
In 2013, WHD investigations resulted in more than US$83,051,159 in back wages for more than 108,050 workers in industries such as janitorial, food, construction, daycare, hospitality and garment. WHD regularly finds large concentrations of misclassified workers in low-wage industries.
“Misclassification deprives workers of rightfully earned wages and undercuts law-abiding businesses,” said David Weil, administrator of the WHD. “This memorandum of understanding sends a clear message that we are standing together with the state of Alabama to protect workers and responsible employers and ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.”
“This sharing of information between agencies can lead to better benefits for and a better understanding of the law by employees, as well as serving to level the playing field for employers who are legitimately reporting their employees’ classifications,” said Alabama Department of Labor commissioner Fitzgerald Washington.
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