States sign pact to protect workers and employers

Trenton. New agreement grants new powers to each state to help wage claim investigations, misclassifications and safety efforts.

| 02 Aug 2019 | 01:55

    Labor departments from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware signed a reciprocal agreement on Tuesday designed to better protect workers and employers through a newly established pipeline of information sharing and coordination of enforcement efforts.

    This agreement grants new powers to each state, including strategic data-sharing, interstate case referrals, and joint investigations that will greatly impact wage claim investigations, worker misclassification, workplace safety efforts, and other labor-related compliance matters.

    “All three states have been tasked with protecting our workers, and looking out for those businesses who play by the rules,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL). “This new cooperation agreement will ensure that those crossing state lines to do business are in full compliance with our laws, and employees are taking home every single penny they have earned.”

    “Pennsylvania is proud to be part of this collaboration, which is truly a victory for workers and employers,” said Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak. “This agreement maximizes the use of existing tools by allowing for data-sharing, joint investigations, and referrals to ensure that workers are not taken advantage of and that there is a level playing field for all employers.”

    "Delaware looks forward to working together with Pennsylvania and New Jersey to do the important work of protecting workers while fostering a fair environment for businesses to grow and prosper,” said Secretary of Labor Cerron Cade. “Companies who violate Delaware labor laws will no longer be able to hide behind state lines. We look forward to adding new states to this pact to preserve the dignity of work in Delaware and throughout the region.”

    The signing took place in Atlantic City during a conference of the New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council, where Governor Phil Murphy had spoken earlier about an expansion of NJDOL’s authority to combat worker misclassification.

    Workers misclassified as independent contractors, as opposed to employees, are ineligible for the wage and overtime protections and benefits afforded to employees, and can find themselves underpaid and without basic labor and OSHA protections.