As the effort to stamp-out worker misclassification under the Fair Labor Standards Act continues to run strong, Oklahoma is the latest state to join the U.S. Department of Labor’s Misclassification Initiative. Specifically, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission entered into a three-year Common Interest Agreement with the U.S. DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, under which the agencies agree to share data, exchange information, and coordinate investigations and other enforcement actions within Oklahoma. As part of this collaboration each agency will be responsible for designating a “Point of Contact” and a representative to participate in quarterly (if not more frequent) meetings.
Employers in Oklahoma need to be cognizant of the risks of worker misclassification and continue to ensure that they are not improperly classifying employees as independent contractors. Indeed, Oklahoma’s joinder with the DOL’s Misclassification Initiative serves as a reminder to employers that this is a hot-button issue of particular interest to both state and federal officials, and targeted efforts are being made to eradicate misclassification nationwide. For more information, employers can look to the U.S. DOL’s website dedicated to the Misclassification Initiative. The DOL has provided a map identifying those 35 states that have partnered with the DOL as part of the Misclassification Initiative and details of such arrangements, as well as fact sheets and general DOL guidance on worker classification issues that may be of use.