Senator Carona Files Bill to Crack Down on Payroll Fraud

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After talking about it for months, Sen. John Carona filed a bill that he believes will help stop the problem of worker misclassification, also known as payroll fraud.

The bill could still be substituted and amended, but this is a framework for dealing with the problem that is said to be more in line with what the industry would like to see than the bill filed by State Rep. Joe Deshotel. This comes after a study from University of Texas researchers showed more than 40 percent of construction workers in the state are misclassified.

Carona, who chairs the powerful Senate Business and Commerce Committee, said “We are finding in larger numbers than ever before the deliberate misclassification of workers from payroll to what used to be called ‘contract labor,’” Carona said. “Our effort is just to bring some clarity to the law in terms of the definition of someone who is an employee versus someone who is truly an independent entity or independent contractor.”

Carona said “certain elements within the business community” would work hard to make sure this kind of legislation doesn’t pass, but he thinks the public and major corporations support reform. He hopes more mid-size businesses will come around to the idea.

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