Texas Workforce Commission Considers Interagency Collaboration to Counter Worker Misclassification
Worker misclassification is becoming more and more of a problem as underhanded hiring by some companies harms not just the underpaid workers, but also the employers who play by the rules. Employers who hire legal workers and abide by the laws are put at a disadvantage when their competitors hire illegal workers for cash. However, according to ConstructionCitizen.com, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is considering interagency collaboration to step up enforcement of worker misclassification violations in Texas.
When government agencies such as the TWC, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Attorney General of Texas share information, they can improve enforcement efforts by identifying likely violations for more effective investigations. They can specifically target industries such as construction where misclassification is especially rampant and there is a greater need for their attention. (A recent study by the University of Texas found that 38% of construction workers in Austin are misclassified.)
Other states have legislation creating interagency task forces to counter misclassification, including California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Utah and Vermont. Massachusetts and California have reported good results from the legislation such as recovering millions in tax money that was being hidden by employers who were misclassifying their workers.
If the construction companies and contractors are held accountable for illegal hiring practices and misclassifying workers, then there will be less incentive for workers to come into this country illegally.