Thirty-five states have agreed to “team up” with the US Department of Labor to investigate worker misclassification. Is your state one of them?
In 2015, Department of Labor launched an initiative to combat the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. As a part of this initiative, the Department of Labor sought to partner with the state agencies and agree to share information and conduct joint investigations regarding independent contractor misclassification. To date, 35 states have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding worker misclassification issues.
These states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
What does this mean for employers in these states?
Employers in the above-listed states should expect collaborative efforts between their state agencies and the Department of Labor during a investigation into potential employee misclassification as the state and the Department of Labor will share information. This could lead to simultaneous, multi-agency investigations into worker classification. It is recommended that companies have qualified legal counsel review any existing independent contractor arrangements. In addition, before entering into an independent contractor relationship, speak with an HR Professional or qualified legal counsel to verify that the worker truly is an independent contractor.
The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry recently released an updated Job Safety and Health Protection Notice, which must be posted in all Virginia workplaces effective immediately. The notice is available in both English and Spanish. Virginia law requires employers to post the notice in both languages in a conspicuous location in the workplace.
What prompted the change in the poster?
The poster has changed because the minimum number of employees involved in workplace fatalities or injuries that triggered reporting the fatality/injury to Virginia Occupational Safety and Health offices has been changed from three or more employees to an incident involving just a single employee. In other words, under the new rules, employers must report all fatalities, and injuries or illnesses that result in an in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye to VOSH within eight (8) hours.
What should employers do?
Virginia employers should download the new English and Spanish posters immediately and replace their existing posters with the new versions. In addition, employers should update their injury reporting procedures to ensure they comply with the new requirements.
The governor of Virginia signed a new law prohibiting employers from requiring current or prospective employees to share login credentials or add a supervisor as a contact on their personal account. The new law takes effect July 1, 2015.
The new law also makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees or to refuse to hire job applicants for exercising such social media privacy rights. The law provides limited exceptions permitting employers to comply with federal, state or local laws and the rules of self-regulatory organizations.