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North Carolina Agrees to Work with the US Department of Labor to Curtail Misclassification

An agreement between the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and North Carolina’s Industrial Commission was signed last week in an effort to coordinate resources to crack down on worker misclassification in the state.  An article in the News and Observer, a regional publication serving the North Carolina Triangle, offered the following details:

“The agreement allows federal officials to share their data and knowledge with North Carolina officials, much as they have with 32 other states working to combat misclassification.  Federal officials have agreed to join some of the state’s efforts to investigate certain employers who have been flagged as likely offenders.”

The News and Observer also quoted Doug Burton of Whitman Masonry whom they had written about in a 2012 article about the problem of worker misclassification.  He says his business is still suffering from the practice.  Burton:

“From where I’m sitting, it’s business as usual.  I’m amazed that (the) government hasn’t really addressed this.  It’s low-hanging fruit.  Why can’t we just clean this up and make this fair for everybody?”

In the following 1½ minute video, Richard Blaylock, director of the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division in Raleigh, talks about the agreement.  He says:

“Misclassification hurts everyone.  It hurts the individual who is working, it has an adverse impact on their families, it has an adverse impact on the community.  Being able to work between the federal government and the state government in this close relationship now will send a strong message to those employers out there who choose to cheat the law.  It is also important that we send this message to those employers who are doing the right thing: that we are working hard at both the state and the federal level to ensure that we have compliance, and where we don’t it is going to be extremely costly for those individuals.”