Employee Misclassification Education and Enforcement Fund (EMEEF)
Whether intentionally, by agreement, or by misunderstanding there are employers who fail to properly claim a worker as an employee. The EMEEF (Employee Misclassification Education and Enforcement Fund) Program identifies and penalizes employers when a worker who is actually an employee is treated as self-employed or an independent contractor.
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Employees are disadvantaged when they are misclassified. They are often deprived of minimum wage or overtime pay and may be forced to pay the employer’s portion of withholding taxes. Furthermore, they are left with little recourse if they are injured on the job, as they have no worker’s compensation coverage- and are not protected by occupational safety and health rules which cover only employees. Those same workers have no access to the protection of the:
· Americans with Disabilities Act;
· Age Discrimination in Employment Act and;
· Family Medical Leave Act among other laws.
It is illegal for an employer to require an employee to pay any portion of the business’ workers’ compensation premiums. If unlawful deductions are discovered, civil penalties are assessed by the program in an amount equal to the amount unlawfully deducted. If other unlawful employment practices are discovered, the program takes appropriate action including referrals to other state agencies.
Employers that comply with the law are disadvantaged if they lose business because their competitors misclassify employees. Non-compliant employers often:
· Have lower labor costs. This uneven playing field has a financial impact estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.
· Fail to keep records required by law.
· Avoid documenting a worker’s right to work legally in the U.S.
Differences Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee
|An Independent Contractor:||An Employee:|
Employee Misclassification Advisory Task Force
The Task Force focuses on joint investigation results, progress in other states, efforts taken to study fraud detection software systems, and recommendations for legislative initiatives to enhance enforcement.