Now that the state is moving forward with a targeted crackdown on the practice of worker misclassification, which some in the construction industry have called “a cancer,” lawmakers are going to work through the summer to figure out what more they can do when they reconvene in a regular session in 2015.
As you may recall, the Texas Legislature in 2013 passed a bill to root out misclassification on public works projects. While many see that as a step in the right direction, it doesn't go nearly far enough to address the problem. As our readers well know, worker misclassification happens when a company pretends its employees are independent subcontractors when by law the workers qualify as employees and therefore should receive benefits and have their taxes deducted and matched. While there are many legitimate uses for subcontractors, the abuse happens when a company does this with the intent of skirting the law and avoiding payroll taxes.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has now instructed House members to “examine the issue of misclassifying employees as independent contractors [and the effect this practice has] on workers, employers, income tax withholding, and the unemployment insurance system. Review current statutory deterrents, including those required by HB 2015 (83R), and make recommendations for changes if necessary.” Read more » about Texas House to Study What More Should be Done on Worker Misclassification