Maryland Labor Department Officials to Host Information Sessions on Worker Classifications and the Maryland Workplace Fraud Act


Eastern Shore information sessions: Nov. 29 at Chesapeake College; Nov. 30 at Salisbury University

BALTIMORE, MD (November 21, 2011) – Next week, senior officials from the Maryland Department of Labor (DLLR) will continue an outreach campaign on the state’s workplace classification policies. DLLR will host two information sessions on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to update business owners, employees, contractors and labor leaders on the state’s workplace classification guidelines and the Maryland Workplace Fraud Act, which was passed by the General Assembly in 2009. The public meetings will include presentations from Maryland Labor Commissioner Ron DeJuliis and Assistant Secretary for Unemployment Insurance Julie Squire. Following the presentations, staff from the Division of Labor and Industry and the Division of Unemployment Insurance will answer questions from the audience.

The first session on the Upper Shore is scheduled for 3pm on Tuesday, November 29 at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills. DLLR will host a similar session on the Lower Shore starting at 9am on Wednesday, November 30 at Salisbury University.

In September, Maryland and 10 other states signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service to share information and coordinate law enforcement with the IRS and participating states in order to level the playing field for law-abiding employers and ensure that employees receive the protections to which they are entitled under federal and state law.

The Maryland Workplace Fraud Act provides the state with tools to combat workplace fraud, which involves employers who knowingly misclassify their employees as independent contractors or do not classify them at all. This illegal practice allows employers to cut payroll costs significantly, leaving workers unprotected by critical workplace protection laws and creating a competitive disadvantage for those employers who play by the rules. Workers who are misclassified as independent contractors are denied access to unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and other protections. Additionally, taxpayers are deprived of millions of dollars to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and the State General Fund.

Under the Workplace Fraud Act, it is a violation of law to fail to properly classify workers as employees, and it imposes penalties on those employers who knowingly misclassify their workers. The law also clarifies the definition of an independent contractor – protecting workers and creating a level playing field for all law-abiding business owners.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation protects and empowers Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, providing a safety net and cultivating a thriving workforce that can meet the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy. Follow DLLR on Twitter (@MD_DLLR) and Facebook.