Employers are on notice. The new Labor Secretary is honing in on issues of concern to the business community.
New U.S. Labor Secretary Perez has introduced an aggressive agenda. In a speech to organized labor on Tuesday, he targeted four areas of attention:
- Aggressively enforcing wage laws
- Improving workplace safety
- Stopping the misclassification of workers as Independent Contractors—a practice he calls “workplace fraud”
- Promoting unionization
While much of this was expected, it should be a wake up call to some employers to make sure their houses are in order. DOL has aggressively pursued wage and hour issues, particularly around violations of overtime and break regulations. DOL, the states and the IRS have been clamping down on Independent Contractors. In fact, the IRS has published a 20-point test that all employers who employ ICs should review. OSHA has been targeting specific industry groups while unions struggle to remain relevant.
While we can expect that the DOL will continue to push these issues, as a matter of good business practice, employers should review all their systems and policies to ensure you are complaint. Penalties are severe. Call me if you need some help.
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