Report lists recommendations to protect workers from payroll fraud

(Photo from MGN).
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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A task force report has several recommendations to make sure Virginia workers receive the pay, workplace protections and benefits they have earned.

Governor Ralph Northam released the final report of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Worker Misclassification and Payroll Fraud, which outlines 11 recommendations.

According to a release, this report is the result of an executive order Northam signed in August that directed the task force to produce updated recommendations to measure and combat misclassification ahead of the upcoming General Assembly in January.

The release specifies that about 214, 000 employees in the Commonwealth are currently misclassified as “independent contractors” by their employers.

The task force recommends increasing education for employers and employees, additional funding for investigation into possible wrongdoing, and harsher penalties for businesses that illegally misclassify employees.

“It's clear that misclassification is robing Virginia workers of the pay, benefits and protection they have earned,” said Northam. “These concrete policy changes will make a tremendous difference for thousands of Virginians and their families, and I look forward to working with the General Assembly to turn these recommendations into law.”

The release says misclassification keeps workers from receiving fair workplace protections and benefits, and it created a competitive disadvantage for businesses that follow the law.

It also says misclassification deprives Virginia of about $28 million in tax revenue annually.

For more than a decade, the General Assembly has considered the harm of worker misclassification.

The task force was comprised of representatives from the Virginia Employment Commission, the Workers' Compensation Commission, the Department of General Services, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Department of Taxation, and the Office of the Attorney General.

To read the full report and recommendations, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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