- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division
Media Contact for Staffing Agency Agrees to Treat Workers as Employees in Agreement with AG’s Office
Boston — A staffing and referral agency that places education sector workers in temporary positions has been cited $55,000 in penalties for misclassifying employees, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
Delta-T Group Massachusetts Inc. is a national staffing agency with an office in Needham that places workers in public and private school jobs. The AG’s Office cited Delta-T for misclassifying workers as independent contractors and rejected Delta-T’s claim that it was merely connecting workers to jobs as part of the gig economy.
“The gig economy can offer workers more flexibility, but it also presents real risks when workers are misclassified and denied important job protections,” said AG Healey. “As a result of our investigation, Delta-T changed its practices and came into compliance with our state laws that protect workers.”
The AG’s Office began investigating Delta-T after receiving information indicating the company was operating in violation of the state independent contractor statute. For workers to be classified as independent contractors in Massachusetts, they must be free from control and direction in the performance of their job, performing a service outside the usual course of business of the company that hires them, and engaged in an independent trade or business of the same nature as the job. According to the AG’s investigation, Delta-T failed to prove that the school workers were properly classified as independent contractors.
Delta-T cooperated with the AG’s Office, agreed to pay the $55,000 penalty, and has agreed to modify its practices to require all school workers who use its services be treated as employees going forward.
When employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors, it is harder for those workers to assert their workplace rights, including protections from wage theft, harassment and discrimination. Independent contractors are denied access to earned sick leave, Occupational Health and Safety Act protections, and are unable to form unions or collectively bargain for better wages and benefits. Employers that misclassify their workers may also avoid paying unemployment insurance and contributing to the worker’s compensation system. They also undermine responsible businesses that play by the rules and properly classify their employees.
The AG’s Office announced a landmark settlement in October 2019 with the Boston internet staffing platform Stynt, which connects dental and other healthcare workers with temporary employment. Under the terms of the settlement, Stynt agreed to make significant changes to its practices and require that all workers be treated as employees rather than independent contractors.
Workers who believe that their rights have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to file a complaint at www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor. For information about the state’s wage and hour laws, workers may call the AG’s Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or go to the AG’s Workplace Rights website www.mass.gov/ago/fairlabor for materials in multiple languages.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Goyer and Supervising Investigator Jen Pak.