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DOL’s Misclassification Initiative compensates several contingent employees for damages

Posted on May 16th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

The Department of Labor's campaign to protect short-term employees from being denied access to entitled benefits has resulted in more than $1 million in back wages and damages being restored to employees. Temporary workers are often misclassified by their employers to reduce costs, but can result in significant financial loses for federal and state department funds. HR outsourcing services should stay informed about a possible rise in claims from contract employees who feel they are eligible for benefits under wage-house laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the DOL program.  

According to the department, the Misclassification Initiative seeks to recover benefits and protections for contingent staff. Supported by Vice President Joe Biden's Middle Class Task Force, the initiative recently obtained back wages and damages for 196 contract workers following an investigation.

Seth Harris, secretary of labor, sees the restoration of wages as a victory for the staffing community.

"This judgment rightfully provides wages to the workers who earned them," Harris said. "The misclassification of employees as independent contractors cheats workers of wages and benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled to under the law, subsequently hurting our economy."

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