Gov. Josh Shapiro said on Thursday that his office will work with New Jersey to stop pay theft and misclassification of workers in both states.
A new task group will be made up of people chosen by Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Labor and Industry, Nancy Walker, and New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner, Robert Asaro-Angelo. This will be a way for the two states to work together.
Shapiro said that when workers are wrongly labeled as independent contractors, they can lose both their pay and tax money.
Shapiro said, “Employee misclassification is a big deal, not just for the people who get ripped off, but for the whole community where they live.” “When a person is wrongly classified, the right taxes aren’t taken out and the right wages aren’t paid.
Who gets taken advantage of? Our local police and parks don’t make as much money as they should, so the commonwealth has to make up the gap.
Both the New Jersey Department of Labor and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry will have to share data and case information that can help enforce labor laws. They will also have to come up with plans to stop wage theft and worker misclassification.
The Department of Labor and Industry calls misclassification a “nationwide problem” that happens when a company wrongly labels an employee as an independent contractor. This can lead to less money being spent on salaries and other costs.
According to information from L&I, about 389,000 workers in the state are misclassified every year.
Shapiro talked about an investigation into Glenn O. Hawbaker that happened when he was Pennsylvania’s attorney general. As a result, the company had to pay more than $20 million to more than 1,000 workers in Pennsylvania for stolen wages.