Worker Misclassification Bill Advances in Vermont

May 10, 2010

Vermont lawmakers appear poised to pass a bill cracking down on misclassification of workers by employers looking to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums and unemployment insurance tax.

Backers of the measure — which has been agreed to in a legislative conference committee — say it’s designed to protect workers who are falsely classified as independent contractors when they should be treated as regular employees.

The bill strengthens existing penalties and creates some new ones for employers who intentionally misclassify workers. Among the new penalties: a fine of up to $5,000 for each misclassified worker. Companies found to have misclassified workers also can be barred from doing contract work for the state for up to three years.

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