The Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and nine states have teamed up to find wage and hour violators and fine them heavily.
As part of its program to crack down on businesses that misclassify workers as independent contractors or deny employees minimum wage and overtime pay, nine states have agreed to share information with the DOL and IRS to better target and punish violators.
The new initiative could subject businesses to multiple fines.
Previously, a company may only end up paying a single state fine for a violation.
Now participating states will share violation info with the DOL, which can seek additional fines. The data will also trickle to the IRS, which can go after the company for unpaid taxes.
The states involved so far are Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Utah and Washington.
Other states can join the initiative, and it’s expected New York will sign up in the near future.
A spokesperson for the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division said getting referrals from states and the IRS will help bolster the agency’s enforcement efforts.
The DOL’s already hired additional investigators to help with the effort.