01/24/2014 – Governor Deval Patrick filed his Fiscal Year 2014 Supplemental Budget recommending the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification be added to Chapter 23 within the Department of Labor Standards, codifying the JTF to legislation by establishing the Council on the Underground Economy. The full recommendation is located here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H3867.
This is a welcomed recommendation for the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Codifying the JTF will ensure that Massachusetts continues to set the example on how to fight for a level playing field among Massachusetts employers and a fair work place for employees.
The JTF was established by Governor Patrick in March 2008 by Executive Order 499. The JTF is charged with coordinating the efforts of multiple state agencies to stamp out fraudulent employment activities, level the playing field and increase fair business competition. Codifying the JTF will allow this effort to move beyond voluntary collaboration and ensure that JTF member agencies work with the JTF to fulfill their statutory obligation to uphold the state’s labor, licensing, and tax laws.
Since its inception in 2008 the JTF has collected nearly $40 million dollars in uncollected revenue for the state, with $21 million collected in the last 18 months. The JTF works with over 15 state agencies, including representatives from multiple constitutional offices. Task Force partners share information, and come together with a common purpose: to bring businesses and individuals into compliance with applicable state labor, licensing and tax laws. This success was not singular due to agency work; the JTF enjoys broad appeal and support among the general public, workers, the business community, and different levels of government.
To learn more about the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification or to read the Massachusetts Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification 2012 Annual Report, visit www.mass.gov/lwd/jtf.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated and businesses who believe they are at an economic disadvantage because of unscrupulous competitors are strongly urged to call the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or the Joint Task Force Referral Line at (877) 965-2267, email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Joint Task Force website at www.mass.gov/lwd/jtf to submit complaints. More information about the wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General’s Workplace Rights website at www.massworkrights.com.