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State task force targets underground economy Posted by on

FALL RIVER ?? Unscrupulous employers cost the state millions in unpaid workers' compensation and gain an advantage over businesses that follow the rules, a state task force says.

This type of cheating, part of the so-called underground economy, was the focus of a task force meeting Monday at UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center. The group met Monday with local businesses, union officials and community activists to discuss the problem.

Responsible companies are forced to compete with employers that avoid withholding payroll taxes, fail to pay workers' compensation and unemployment insurance, and give employees substandard wages, said state Director of Labor George E. Noel, task force chairman.

Worker misclassification getting more notice Posted by on

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in regards to the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. And well they should. It costs the state millions of dollars in lost tax revenue, strips workers of vital workers compensation coverage and puts honest businesses at a significant competitive disadvantage.

In addition to improving coordination and enforcement by state agencies, leading enforcement agencies are holding meetings around the state to notify businesses and workers about the crackdown.

The latest was held in Southeastern Massachusetts and received prominent coverage in the New Bedford Standard Times. Read the full coverage and post your comments at their web site here. Remember these are public forums, so be direct, but respectful of others. Site editors do reserve the right to remove comments they find objectionable.

A message to undocumented workers Posted by on