Gov. Josh Shapiro and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced a new interstate workforce initiative dedicated to addressing worker misclassification. As reported in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the task force will allow both states to share information about contractors misclassifying their workers and potentially coordinate joint actions against them.
In response, the PA Chamber issued the following statement:
“We appreciate Gov. Shapiro and Gov. Murphy’s efforts to combat worker misclassification and hold bad actors accountable. Unscrupulous businesses that intentionally misclassify workers as independent contractors to undercut bids or unlawfully avoid taxes hurt workers and have an unfair advantage over Pennsylvania employers who work diligently to comply with the law.
At the same time, we urge both administrations to resist any inclination to approach all employers as bad actors. Some situations are not so cut-and-dried; honest miscommunications can arise between parties, or an individual may seek to unilaterally revise an employment arrangement after a job is completed. These situations should be reviewed objectively. In the event an employer makes a clerical error, or inadvertently misconstrues some nuance of the law, regulators should work with these employers to come into compliance.
“We also know that, for some, the phrase ‘worker misclassification’ has become synonymous with efforts to undermine the gig economy and disrupt the business model for Pennsylvanians who prefer to work as independent contractors, including owner-operator trucker drivers, freelance writers and photographers, and many others.
“We hope this joint initiative between Pennsylvania and New Jersey focuses on real worker misclassification and holding true bad actors accountable.”
The PA Chamber has voiced concerns about legislative efforts to address worker misclassification at the expense of gig economy employees in an op-ed that was published earlier this year in The Hill.