MD Gov. Creates Misclassification Task Force

Baltimore, MD (CompNewsNetwork) - On the heels of passage earlier this year of the Workplace Fraud Act of 2009, Governor Martin O'Malley announced a series of actions to help strengthen the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, protect Maryland workers and crack down on employers who violate the law by misclassifying employees as independent contractors.

First, Governor O'Malley has signed an Executive Order to create a State government task force to share information and coordinate enforcement to crack down on workplace fraud. The Task Force will bring together DLLR's Divisions of Unemployment Insurance and Labor and Industry, the Comptroller's office, the Attorney General's office, the Maryland Insurance Administration, and the Workers' Compensation Commission, all of which have a role to play in eradicating workplace fraud. The agencies will share information regarding employers found misclassifying workers, and will coordinate enforcement and outreach.

“This executive order, combined with passage this year of the Workplace Fraud Act, should send the clear message that Maryland will not tolerate employers who try to cheat the system, and that we are committed to arming ourselves with the tools necessary to eradicate this pervasive practice,” Governor O'Malley said.

“We now have new tools to ensure that workers who were fraudulently classified as independent contractors will get the benefits and protections afforded to employees,” Secretary Thomas E. Perez said. “Our goals are threefold: to recoup state revenues, to ensure workers are treated fairly and to level the playing field for employers who play by the rules.”

Additionally, DLLR is working to implement the Workplace Fraud Act proposed by Governor O'Malley and passed by the General Assembly this year. The Department is working with a wide array of stakeholders to gather input for the regulations that will govern enforcement of the law and provide guidance to help employers comply with the law. The law takes effect October 1, 2009. 

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