|Feb. 3, 2014 | www.fisherphillips.com|
Government efforts aimed at cracking down on perceived independent-contractor misclassification show no signs of slowing down as 2014 begins. On November 12, 2013, the “Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2013” (PFPA) was introduced in the U.S. Senate. According to one of the bill’s cosponsors, the bill is needed to reduce “intentional misclassification” which amounted to “payroll fraud.” The bill would make it a freestanding violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to wrongly classify an employee as a non-employee.
While the cosponsor stressed that it was an effort to penalize and prevent “intentional misclassification” – and not an effort to point fingers at companies that are following the law – its provisions make little effort to distinguish between willful and good-faith misclassification.