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Employee Misclassification Protection Act Introduced in Congress Posted by on

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would make worker misclassification a violation of federal labor laws, increasing penalties for companies found to improperly classify workers as independent contractors.

By misclassifying workers as independent contractors, companies avoid withholding income taxes and paying Social Security and Medicare taxes. Each year, more than $4.7 billion in federal income and employment tax revenue is lost due to misclassification, and billions more are lost at the state level. Companies that misclassify workers save up to an estimated 30 percent on payroll costs, gaining an unfair advantage over their more responsible competitors.

The bill would require employers to classify workers as employees, using a well-defined test that has existed since 1947, and establishes a penalty for failing to do so. It requires that employers tell workers if they have been classified as independent contractors and how they can challenge that classification. The bill also protects workers who do challenge misclassification from retaliation.

The bill is another step forward in the ongoing efforts to protect workers, uphold labor standards, and level playing field for responsible contractors.




Governor of Maine signs act to amend laws governing misclassification of construction workers Posted by on

Governor John Baldacci has signed an act to amend the laws governing the misclassification of construction workers, specifically Stop Work Orders.

The amendment authorizes the Executive Director of the Workers' Compensation Board to issue a stop-work order after an administrative hearing if a contractor has (a) failed to provide workers' compensation coverage and (b) there has been at least one previous notice of a non-coverage violation, or the contractor has cancelled or failed to renew a policy. The stop work order will be stayed if the contractor shows that coverage has been obtained and will be maintained for its employees or subcontractors or for independent contractors whose status as employees is in question. It also extends the notice of hearing provision from 48 hours to 3 business days.

Last June, LD 1456 was signed, which was an act to ensure that construction workers are protected by workers?? compensation insurance. At the time, stop work order language was removed from the bill to make certain the bill would pass. The recent signing of the Stop Work Order amendment is the missing piece that is needed to ensure enforcement of the laws.

To view a PDF of the recently signed amendment click here.




Two positions available Posted by on

The Fair Labor Division of the Attorney General in Massachusetts is seeking to hire a Managing Attorney and Division Chief.

The listing for Managing Attorney for the Massachusetts Attorney General??s Offices lists the following information:

Attorney General Martha Coakley seeks an exceptional and highly motivated attorney to serve as the Managing Attorney of the Fair Labor Division (FLD), one of the divisions within the Office of the Attorney General??s Business and Labor Bureau. The FLD is committed to protecting workers?? rights and promoting a fair business environment for employers in the Commonwealth. The FLD enforces Massachusetts' workplace laws, including the prevailing wage, minimum wage, and nonpayment of wages and overtime laws. The Division is also charged with enforcing the child labor and public construction contracting laws. FLD has authority to seek criminal, civil, and administrative remedies for violations of the laws it enforces.

Primary Duties: Assist the Division Chief and Deputy Chief in managing the division, including the day-to-day supervision of investigations, cases and work product; and reviewing civil citations, settlement agreements, prosecution memoranda, and legal briefs for submission to state trial and appellate courts and the Division of Administrative Law Appeals. Assist in the development and supervision of criminal cases in the superior court and district court. Conduct periodic case reviews with Assistant Attorneys General (AAsG) and/or AAG/Investigator teams and provide support to AAsG with hearing and trial preparation and other litigation-related matters. Assist with AAG and support staff performance evaluations, and personnel matters including personnel development and training as needed. Maintain an individual caseload of complex cases, primarily criminal.

Qualifications: Excellent academic credentials; substantial skill and experience in written and oral advocacy; and familiarity with Massachusetts Wage and Hour Law, administrative law, civil and criminal law and appellate procedure. Applicants should have at least five years of litigation experience, preferably in the Labor & Employment Law arena, and experience in the supervision and management of attorneys. Understanding of public construction processes also preferable. Applicants must be admitted to the Massachusetts bar, or eligible for admission by motion.

Apply by submitting cover letter and resume to:

Sandra L. Macdonald, Recruitment & Hiring Coordinator
Office of the Attorney General
Human Resource Management Office
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

Click here for complete job listing information and instructions.


The listing for Division Chief, Assistant Attorney General includes the following information:

Attorney General Martha Coakley seeks an exceptional, experienced, and highly motivated attorney to serve as Chief of the Fair Labor Division (FLD), one of the divisions within the Office of the Attorney General??s Business and Labor Bureau. The FLD is committed to protecting workers?? rights and promoting a fair business environment for employers in the Commonwealth. The FLD enforces Massachusetts' workplace laws, including the prevailing wage, minimum wage, and nonpayment of wages and overtime laws. The Division is also charged with enforcing the child labor and public construction contracting laws. FLD has authority to seek criminal, civil, and administrative remedies for violations of the laws it enforces.

Primary Duties: The Division Chief is responsible for supervising and directing activities of a division of approximately 50 staff, consisting of 15 Assistant Attorneys General, 35 Inspectors, and other staff working throughout the Commonwealth. Primary responsibilities of the Division Chief include: day-to-day supervision of Division cases and work product, including reviewing civil citations, prosecution memoranda, and legal briefs for submission to court and the Division of Administrative Law Appeals; development and supervision of criminal cases, including at the superior court and district court levels; review and approval of bid protest decisions; periodic case reviews with AAsG and/or AAG/Inspector teams; and coordination and outreach to constituent groups including public speaking, education campaigns and advisories. In addition, the Division Chief is responsible for the overall administration of the Division, including personnel matters, drafting periodic reports on FLD??s work, and attending regular meetings with the Attorney General and other senior staff. As time permits, the Chief personally handles significant or sensitive litigation, including settlement negotiations and non-litigation projects (e.g., helping to develop or commenting on legislation). The Division Chief reports to the Chief of the Business and Labor Bureau.

Position Requirements: 7 - 10 years experience in either criminal and/or civil litigation, preferably labor experience. Familiarity with state wage and hour laws and public construction practices preferred. Demonstrated ability to work cooperatively with public officials, employer/employee advocacy groups and public construction associations. Demonstrated ability to oversee multiple complex matters simultaneously, and ability to manage attorneys, paralegals, and other staff with varying levels of experience. Actual managerial experience is strongly preferred. Excellent negotiation and communication skills. Must be a member of the Massachusetts Bar or eligible for admission by motion.

Apply by submitting cover letter and resume to:

Sandra Macdonald, Recruitment & Hiring Coordinator
Office of the Attorney General
Human Resource Management Office
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

Click here for complete job listing and instructions.




Additional penalty for All-Pro Construction Posted by on

As reported last week, Sylvain Michaud, Bill Poulin and their company, All-Pro Construction Management, were issued significant penalties by the Massachusetts Attorney General??s Office for wage and reporting violations in cases referred by Organizers for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. A press release issued today by the MA Attorney General??s office issued today announces the company has been debarred from bidding or contracting public projects for six months.

A total of $25,000 in penalties was issued for four violations including misclassifying its workers as independent contractors on construction projects in Framingham, Newton, Boston, Needham, and UMass/Lowell. Michaud and Poulin of All-Pro Construction, based in Hudson, NH, were also cited for failure to make timely payment of wages, failure to submit true and accurate certified payroll records on public construction projects, and failure to maintain true and accurate general payroll records. The owners and their company have agreed to pay a $25,000 penalty to the Commonwealth for the violations. All-Pro Construction will be debarred from bidding or contracting for any new public projects in the Commonwealth for six months.

A total of $25,000 in penalties was issued for four violations, the largest being for misclassifying employers as independent contractors, which earned them a $19,000 fine. They also were assessed $2,000 each for failure to make timely payment of wages, failure to submit true and accurate certified payroll records and failure to keep true and accurate payroll records.

The violations occurred between January 1, 2008 and January 22, 2010 involving work the company performed at Maintenance Building Repairs in Framingham; Fire Station #4 in Newton; the Fish Pier renovation in Boston; the Administrative Building Construction in Needham; and the Fox Hall Renovations in Lowell.

To read the MA Attorney General??s Press Release click here.




Workers' Memorial Day Posted by on



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