1590 Employer Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Tom
Perez testified before the House Economic Matters Committee on
HB 1590, March 20, 2008.
HB 1590 addresses the misclassification of employees as independent
contractors, a pervasive practice that cheats the state out of
revenue, creates an unlevel playing field for businesses and deprives
workers of their basic rights in the workplace.
Employee misclassification is a practice often used intentionally
by employers to reduce their tax burden and avoid various laws
designed to create protections in the workplace. Recent DLLR audits
have found that about 20 percent of Maryland employers misclassify
employees as independent contractors.
Misclassification is an already prevalent issue that in recent
years has emerged as a serious threat to workers, law-abiding
employers and the economy in general, and it is one method employers
use to operate in the underground economy. It has been estimated
that an employer who misclassifies a worker as an independent
contractor instead of as an employee can save up to 30 percent
of the payroll costs associated with employing that person.
But misclassifying employees to save money is cheating, and those
savings come at a significant cost to the rest of us. The ramifications
are far-reaching. CLICK HERE FOR FULL TESTIMONY
Perez Advises Against High-Cost Stimulus Anticipation Loans
DLLR Secretary Perez and Financial Regulation Commissioner Sarah
Bloom Raskin reminded Marylanders to beware of high-cost anticipation
loans on the federal economic stimulus payments that will be sent
beginning in May to more than 130 million households nationwide.
The Commissioner has issued an advisory reminding Marylanders
to think twice before giving their money away.
Much like the refund anticipation loans offered by tax preparers
and lenders each year during tax season, stimulus payment anticipation
loans are expected to be promoted as a way to receive the tax
rebate early. As part of the recently approved federal economic
stimulus package, eligible persons will receive up to $600 ($1200
for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300
for each eligible child younger than 17. Anticipation loans typically
impose excessive interest rates resulting in a very high cost
for the loan.
The quickest way to obtain your rebate is to remember to file
your 2007 tax return and opt for direct deposit to your checking
account. Your stimulus rebate payment will be made by direct
deposit as well. Those who receive their tax return checks by
mail will also receive their rebate by mail. For more information
on the stimulus payments, visit the
IRS website. You can also view the Commissioner’s
advisory, visit the
On March 4, 2008 a legislative breakfast
sponsored by the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and
the Workforce Investment Network for Maryland was held at Governor
Calvert House in Annapolis.
Governor Martin O’Malley addressed the crowd of about
100 invited guests which included Maryland state legislators,
local elected officials, sub-cabinet members, Governor’s
Workforce Investment Board members, Workforce Investment Board
(WIB) members and Workforce Investment Area directors. The purpose
of the legislative breakfast was to increase awareness of Maryland’s
workforce development system and highlight the State’s network
of 34 locally driven one-stop workforce centers, which assist
more than 120,000 Marylander’s each year.
Martin O'Malley Governor
Secretary Perez DLLR
Division of Workforce Development
Executive Director Governor's Workforce Investment Board
Karen Sitnick President Workforce Investment Network
GWIB Executive Director Eric Seleznow announced two additions
to his staff:
GWIB DEPUTY DIRECTOR – Lynn Reed
After an extremely competitive and lengthy search process, Lynn
Reed was appointed as the Deputy Director of GWIB. Ms.
Reed is a veteran workforce development professional with over
15 years of experience at the national, state and local level.
She has public and private sector policy, management and operational
experience within diverse segments of the workforce investment
system. As Senior Director, Business Partnerships for LSG,
Inc., a professional services firm in Northern Virginia,
Ms. Reed worked with the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and
Training Administration’s Business Relations Group to launch
the President’s High Growth Job Training Initiative (HGJTI).
She managed the efforts for select industries on the national
level, including biotechnology, hospitality and retail. Ms.
Reed has worked on numerous other national initiatives including
WIA, the Older Americans Act, Job Corps, community colleges, youth
programs and BRAC. Ms. Reed is experienced at managing
large national projects, grant solicitations and grant applications.
She will begin with GWIB on April 9.
GWIB PROGRAM MANAGER – Rachel Indek
Ms. Indek comes to GWIB from the Governor’s Office of Community
Initiatives and the Governor’s Office for Children, where
she held the position of Intergovernmental Affairs Director.
Ms. Indek's work included the development of communications and
outreach strategies, legislative coordination and a variety of
other policy and program activities. Ms. Indek has over
7 years of professional experience in fundraising, communications,
and event planning, working professionally on over 60 federal,
state and local political campaigns. Ms. Indek is a graduate of
Salisbury State University and is presently working on her Masters
in Public Policy at the University of Baltimore. She will
begin with GWIB on April 10.
Secretary Tom Perez Announces new Maryland Home Improvement Commission
Secretary Perez named Steve Smitson as the Division of Occupational
and Professional Licensing's new MHIC Executive Director. Mr.
Smitson comes to DLLR with a wealth of experience and will employ
his bilingual law background to oversee an agency which licenses,
regulates and investigates the home improvement workforce. Mr.
Smitson most recently worked as an attorney for Wellens Law firm
in Severna Park, Maryland providing legal representation in special
education, business and family law matters. He was also an adjunct
instructor at Montgomery College’s Hispanic Business and
Training Institute in Gaithersburg teaching a Spanish course on
home improvement law and business principles. Mr. Smitson worked
as the Legal Director and Supervising Attorney for CASA of Maryland,
Inc., for twelve years and was the Strategic Researcher and Organizer
for the Laborers International Union of North America, based in
Washington D.C. Mr. Smitson has two published reports since graduating
Cum Laude from the D.C. School of Law in 1994.
Safety and Training Sessions
Eight health and safety training sessions, including two new
classes were available, free of charge, to Maryland employees
and employers during the month of March.
Permit Required Confined Space – March 4, 2008
Trenching & Excavation Competent Person – March 7, 2008
Introduction to Industrial Hygiene for Construction (New) –
March 18, 2008
Construction Site Safety II – March 20, 2008 from
Roofing & Framing Fall Protection (New) – March 25,
Bloodborne Pathogens – March 13, 2008
MSDS/RTK/PPE – Material Safety Data Sheets/Right to Know/Personal
Protective Equipment - March 27, 2008
Also, Seguridad en la Construcción (Safety on the Construction
Site) – March 21, 2008 was conducted entirely in Spanish.
Congressman Chris Van Hollen will hold a Mortgage Foreclosure
on Saturday, April 5, 2008 from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m. at the Sligo
Middle School -
1401 Dennis Avenue - Silver Spring, Maryland 20902.
Hear from top officials what the federal and state governments
are doing to help homeowners face the current housing crisis and
the steps that homeowners can take to protect their homes from
foreclosure. Housing counselors will be on hand to address
homeowners’ specific questions. A sign language interpreter
and bilingual counselors will be available.
Secretary Tom Perez will serve as a panelist for this event.
All residents from the 8th Congressional District are invited
to participate. If you have questions, please call (301) 424-3501
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