By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff
The Governor of Wisconsin signed Executive Order 20 on April 5, 2019, creating the Joint Enforcement Task Force on Payroll Fraud and Worker Misclassification. The Task Force will coordinate worker misclassification matters handled by the Departments of Revenue, Workforce Development, and Justice, as well as the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and other agencies and will report to the Governor on or before March of each year on their activities.
The Task Force will be staffed by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and will consist of the Secretaries of DWD, the Department of Revenue, the Administrators of the Worker's Compensation and Unemployment Insurance (UI) Divisions within DWD, the Attorney General or a designee, the Commissioner of Insurance or designee and others. The DWD Secretary will serve as chair.
“Our workers are the backbone of our communities,” Gov. Tony Evers said. “Everyone benefits from their efforts to make Wisconsin stronger and safer. When employees are falsely classified or treated unfairly, it hurts our families, our communities, and our whole state. Executive Order 20 and the new Joint Enforcement Task Force will make sure everyone who puts in an honest day’s work gets the compensation and benefits they’ve earned.”
DWD also operates a team of worker misclassification investigators, many of whom have law enforcement backgrounds in white collar and economic crime investigations. In 2018, that team conducted over 500 worksite investigations and helped educate the public about the severity of worker misclassification by presenting at construction industry events, labor union meetings and other public forums. The DWD Worker Classification website provides employers with a clear and understandable process to determine whether their workers are employees or independent contractors, as well as a mechanism to report suspected worker misclassification. (State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development, News Release, April 15, 2019.)
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