New York State Attorney General Eric. T. Schneiderman along with officials from the New York State Department of Labor and the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division signed memoranda in late November vowing to better protect the rights of employees who are victims of misclassification.
Many businesses in New York and across the United States have increasingly misclassified employees as independent contractors for their own benefit and to the employees’ detriment. Often times, misclassified employees are denied certain benefits, including but not limited to overtime compensation, minimum wage pay and unemployment insurance.
This partnership between state and federal agencies has been led by United States Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez through the United States Department of Labor’s ‘Misclassification Initiative.’ In the last two years, the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division has secured over $18.2 million in back wages for more than 19,000 workers, many of whom were misclassified. New York is the fifteenth state to partner with the United States Department of Labor to address the issue of employee misclassification, joining California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Utah and Washington.