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    Worker Misclassification Awareness Campaign Launched in Pennsylvania

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    Following on the heels of their recent worker misclassification enforcement partnership with the DOL, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has launched a statewide public awareness campaign about worker misclassification.

    The campaign, which was funded by a $473,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, will place transportation billboards, digital ads and radio spots in local markets across Pennsylvania. The campaign is intended to help employers and employees know when a worker can be classified as an independent contractor, and when they should be classified as an employee.

    Kathy Manderino, secretary of the department, shared that worker misclassification occurs when employers treat employees as independent contractors, when they should really be treated as full-time employees. This may be done unintentionally, or it may be done in an effort to reduce payroll and other costs. “Worker misclassification is a nationwide problem that has a negative impact on Pennsylvania’s economy and unemployment compensation fund,” Manderino said. “It creates an uneven playing field for employers who properly classify their workers.”

    Goals of PA’s Worker Misclassification Campaign

    A better understanding of the distinctions between the two designations will help employers properly classify personnel, and will help workers understand if they have been misclassified, as well as what to do about it.

    “Some also may just not realize the difference [between an FTE and an IC] and be unknowingly doing something that is incorrect,” said Sara Goulet, department communication director. When a worker is misclassified, that can withhold rights that an individual would have if he or she was qualified as an employee. “Our goal for this campaign is to educate workers and employers about the important differences between an employee and a contractor,” she said.

    In today’s complex business environment, many organizations depend on the independent workforce to get vital work done. With more workers choosing to work independently and more companies wanting to use independent workers (such as freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors) for project work, worker misclassification enforcement is a growing area of concern. Businesses who want to maintain flexibility, while also gaining access to vital talent, don’t want to violate the complex and sometimes contradicting federal and state regulations.

    The reality of the current regulatory and employment landscape is that independent contractor status is a perfectly legal worker classification, so long as you do it right. As the industry leading Independent Contractor Compliance and Engagement expert, TalentWave helps enterprise clients build comprehensive IC engagement programs. The outcome is a flexible workforce engagement solution that enables a client company to attract and retain talent, including independent contractors, while mitigating the risks and streamlining the process.

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